Family Window

Anuka Lomidze & Koka Vashakidze

Sabcho Square, Tbilisi, Georgia

Project Description:
Recently in private discussion with one family, we were shown a huge Soviet period photo album (more than a thousand photos). Our attention was drawn by a repeating scene: where the people of different dates and generations were posing from one and the same window. We have continued dialogue with the people from the epoch where, even simple family photo could have been censored. What kind of meaning did this have for them? What was the luring reason of repeating the same view again and again? Was it an unconscious try to satisfy impossibility of emigration or epoch linked voyeuristic habits? And what does it mean to be migrant in your own country? On December 18 at 2:00 pm we ourselves are going to look through the mentioned window and to publish an e-book on our site, including short essay on the same topic, migrants manifesto and mentioned photos. Link on downloadable pdf will be presented on this site and in social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Post Action Report:

Being the guests of Tbilisi based family we were shown the soviet epoch album, including probably more than thousand photos. In perfectly arranged collection our attention was drawn by the repeating image. Different generation members were posing from one and the same window through decades, although they had already had the same shots. Each was done from the front window of the same flat, always by the member of the family.

After the closer look we have noticed that only these “window glance photos” were preserved in match with their copies. It gave the reason to suppose that they had comparatively more importance for these people. We tried to find out what was the luring point of repeating the same scene again and again. Was it an echo of the time where even family photo could have been censored? Was it a whisper inside the family? The answer was simple – “Oh, it’s our famous window”.

In the Union of fifteen republics crossing the border was prohibited, however moving inside the territory was free and sometimes ordered. Even in the case of forced resettlement person was staying in “own country”, which was felt as the motherland almost by no one.

But is it really possible to be an emigrant in own country? What is the difference between this case and possibility to be an emigrant at own planet, especially with illegal status.

Getting back with denied direct answer, we dare to share the question – Was each glance from this window an unconscious irony of the fact or kind of playful manifestation of the rights? Or was it just an epoch linked voyeuristic habit – watch not to be watched?

Can migration be voyeuristic or exhibitionistic act in a wider sense of the meaning?

To leave the room for discussion, we present several photos from the album, even we don’t know whether they were intended as a series or not.”


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