Swiss photographer’s photos show what did Georgia look like in 1993
21 September, 2018
Swiss photographer’s photos show what did Georgia look like in 1993
The Swiss photographer DANIEL Spehr uploaded the photos of Georgia taken in 1993 on his Facebook last year. The photos reflect the people and life of Tbilisi in 1993. Many Georgians recognized themselves in the photos and shared these wonderful photos all over the social network.

DANIEL Spehr visited Georgia in 1993. He was granted with the Atelia Mondial IAAB scholarship which gave young artists a possibility to work for different projects all over the world. The grant gave the photographer a
chance to live and travel to Georgia. Before arriving in Georgia, he knew Georgia was currently suffering from war and great poverty.
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The first things he encountered at the airport were two people in civilian clothing carrying Kalashnikovs and complete darkness everywhere. Spehr got better acquainted with many Georgians by attending an exhibition in the Caravanserai (The Tbilisi History Museum) and viewing the film “Mizerere” Directed by Zaza Khalvashi.
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The photographer remembers that the situation in Georgia was absolutely different from those in Europe. He had not been outside Europe before. The electricity went off frequently and the bread could be obtained only through certain cards and queuing for hours.
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DANIEL Spehr made a documentary-experimental film about a soldier. The solider is returning from the war in Abkhazia. He walked round the streets of Tbilisi and could not recognize the place. At the end of the film, the solider started drinking with abandon.
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Before leaving Georgia, he visited Batumi with his Georgian friends. It was already cold in autumn. They stayed at one of the poorest hotels where people burn locks of wood floor in order to keep warm. They left Batumi by plane. Only one propeller of the plane was working and the pilot tried to make the other one start. The photographer could feel how hard it was for the plane to carry this load of people.
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In 2018, when he visited Georgia again, he had noticed that there are a lot of cars running even on pedestrian roads in Tbilisi. He hopes some restrictions will be imposed in this regard. Otherwise, the country will not develop properly. The photographer thinks Georgians outside Tbilisi live the same lives and the buildings are still pulling down as they did 25 years ago. Advertisements or colorful coverings do not change the reality.
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DANIEL Spehr believes the photos should be returned to Georgia. He hopes that the photos will be collected and preserved by one of the organizations or institutions in Georgia. Apart from the photos, he keeps the audio records of the sound of shooting guns in Georgia, 1993. Every city houses similar archives of their past and Tbilisi should follow suit.
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For more photos visit here

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