Arrests in Tbilisi as queer rights activists and homophobic counter protesters face-off
On 31 May, the Interior Ministry announced that it was ‘impossible’ for Pride to go ahead in the planned locations in the city centre ‘due to safety risks’. Organisers have insisted the event will still go ahead and were demanding the government guarantee their safety.
In times of trouble, the Georgian government turns to Mother Mary
Legend has it that after Jesus ascended to heaven, the Virgin Mary and the disciples drew lots in Jerusalem to pick the lands where they would spread the word of Christ. Mary drew Georgia. And although she never visited the country, the connection has become deeply woven into Georgia’s national narrative.
Since it opened in 2014, Bassiani has gained a reputation as one of the world’s best techno clubs, and visitors from around the world come to Tbilisi to party there. But in Georgia, the club is about more than just wild nights out: It is on the front line of debates that have that have led to showdowns with the authorities and threatened to boil over into violence.
The Georgian capital of Tbilisi is currently experiencing a boon in tourism, catering to Russian and European tourists drawn to the city’s colorful pastiche of dilapidated, yet captivating architecture peeling away toward inevitable modernization. A waft of international capital and cosmopolitan luxury perfumes the air everywhere today, but at the moment, the city still retains a distinct character proudly expressive of its own history of place, time, and people. If there’s anywhere in the world to go today – before it changes – it’s Tbilisi.
9 Reasons Why (European) Georgia Should Be On Your Mind
The tourism infrastructure of this former Soviet republic is still developing, and Georgia’s doors are opening wide, especially for those who love wine, rate dining as a key attraction in their travels, or simply want to be first among their friends to visit what may be the next hottest destination.
Too Gay For Georgia: New Film Wows Cannes But Faces Backlash In Tbilisi
Studies suggest that of all the minority groups in Georgia, homosexuals are under the greatest pressure -- with more than 80 percent of survey respondents expressing strong negative attitudes toward homosexuality. Georgia ranked as the world's third-most-homophobic country in the World Value Survey, with some 93 percent of Georgians saying they would be against the idea of having a gay neighbor. Although homosexuality and gender change are legal in Georgia, society's view of the LGBT minority remains negative, with hostile attitudes toward gays strongly influenced by traditional stigmas, taboos, and values promoted by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Russian Photographer Dmitry Gomberg gives us a bucolic view of life in rural Georgia with his work The Shepherd’s Way
Do you think the lives of these communities have changed for the better after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the increasing process of Westernization of Georgia? “This is a tough question. What I will tell you is my personal opinion. They lived a better life, and the community was in better shape during the Soviet Union than now. But at the same time the Soviet Union killed the progress, many farmers lost their love for the land. Love for cheesemaking. “They were eating meat every day during Soviet time, just because sheep “accidentally” died from diseases and so on. Now when they owe it, that can’t behave the same way. “Also, Tusheti is very close to Chechnya. Now the border closed their relationship. The 90s were also very tough times with bandits and so on. Shepherds used to hire a truck full of soldiers to accompany them. Anyway, the point is that the Soviet Union destroyed farming in general and now it’s very tough to get back on track. The tourism increasing rapidly in the last years and it brings new challenges for the region and its people.”