Fest of Future Villages, as such!

Tandem Ukraine participant Levan Khutsishvili (GergArt in Rustavi, Georgia) brings us an update from his collaboration with Tetiana Nazarenko (Pervozvanivska OTH in Kyiv, Ukraine), Iana Sericova (Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau KSA:K in Chisinau, Moldova) and Elena Ciochina ("Alexandru Plămădeală" College of Fine Arts in Chisinau, Moldova). Depsite all the challenges this year brought to all of us, they have been able to make Fest of Future Villages happen as part of their Tandem Ukraine collaboration.

Initially, Fest of Future Villages was planned as a one-week common activity in one of the abandoned villages in the Kazbegi region in Georgia, but the situation caused by the pandemic changed our plans, and as we were confident of the importance of our idea, and we wanted to implement our project despite all the challenges, we decided to organise small camps in each of our countries… and we did it!

On 26 and 27 September, GergArt organised a two-day camp in one of the abandoned villages, Gaiboteni, which is in the Kazbegi region. 20 youngsters have participated: during two days they had the opportunity to visit Gaiboteni, to explore its structure, economic, social and cultural past, and later based on their experience and the knowledge they gathered, they have created a song, some paintings and showed different perspectives of the village through photography.

The most wonderful thing about this event was the involvement of local youngsters, even though the weather was terrible (it was raining and very cold), participants haven’t even thought once to return home. They were very happy and kept motivated to contribute to the project. The same motivation was felt among the participants of the project in Moldova and in Ukraine. And this was a sign for us: that we are in a right place, doing the right thing.

This was a wonderful experience, and we are planning to continue working on this idea in the future. Among all these challenges, we managed to do part of our project and I want to highlight here the flexibility and huge support from the Tandem Ukraine team, without their openness for changes, it would have been very difficult to implement our project.

To sum up, I feel very lucky that I was given a chance to be part of Tandem Ukraine, to meet with wonderful and bright people from different countries.