Magnum Foundation is looking for someone who might be interested in collaborating on a Data Visualization.
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We have a Photo and Social Justice Fellow from Georgia here with us this week working on a fantastic short narrative film about Russia slowly moving its borders into Georgia’s territory.Tako Robakidze, the photographer, has been photographing and recording stories from villages along the border areas— she has stories of borders moving over night, families go to bed as a Georgian citizens and wake up in Russia.She has also collected data from state records and from oral history along the boarder regions and is interested in including a data visualization that shows how the borders have changed over time.Know anyone who might be interested? We may have a modest honorarium for work on this.Tako is here for the next two of weeks. I’ve included a description of the project below. The film is likely to screen in international festivals — will likely have print exhibitions as well.Let me know what you think!All best, Emma
Tako Robakidze, Georgian
Title: Creeping Occupation
Description: One of the biggest social injustice is defining one’s future, without giving him/her any right to choose. For some people in my country, it is not difficult anymore, to imagine going to sleep in their own country and waking up in an occupied territory. In 2008 the Russian Federation has escalated the conflict in one of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia which caused additional occupation of Georgian territories and displacement of more than 30 000 people. As the topic of Russian occupation and the shifting of so-called administrative “borders” moves deeper and deeper, more territories gather behind the barbed wire fences, leaving the local community without land, harvest and even own houses. Moreover, kidnapping of local residents by the so called “peace keepers” has become almost a common action. One-day Vanishvili family house that was situated in Khurvaleti – another bordering village – appeared on occupied territory. When Davit Vanishvili went to take his pension not far from the place he resided, he was jailed for illegally crossing the border upon returning. As social workers are not eligible to visit him, the Georgian state has stopped his pecuniary social assistance.
My project concerns the bordering villages at the de facto border of breakaway territory of South Ossetia controlled by the Russian militaries. By working on a documentary project and a short multimedia, I intend to visit border villages, IDP settlements, tell stories and outcomes of the war and life of the inhabitants living in these areas. As the State, local media and part of the society fails to call these circumstances crucial, I want to shake the society by experimenting double standards. As a creative approach, in my project I want to expose the existing paradox, showing on one hand the direct creeping occupation of the country and on the other hand welcoming signs, commercial posters or restaurant menus etc., that citizens of my country willingly offer in Russian language.
I find the project critical as it challenges the State and local media to take actions against violation of rights and take full responsibility on imposed matters. The project is sustainable as it creates a solid material for future projects such as transmedia website, that engages a large scale of audience and collaboration with international organizations who work on peace and security issues in Caucasus region.
Bio: Tako Robakidze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. In 2008 she graduated from Tbilisi State University, Law faculty. Parallel to the university studies, she was enrolled in the school of documentary photography ‘Sepia’, and continued her studies for 5 years. In 2015 she got MA degree in journalism at Media School of Caucasus University. Since 2010 she has been working as a freelance photographer and cooperated with Georgian and international NGOs, covering diverse social topics. Tako is focusing her work on documenting everyday life and social conditions of people living in the regions of Georgia. Since 2015 Tako Robakidze has been the co-founder and a member of Georgian documentary photo agency ERROR IMAGES.