Shengelia Giorgi: Homeless

Shengelia Giorgi: Homeless
International Photography Grant 2019

Because of 25 year long conflict situation in Georgia, 65% of the population is under poverty level. Internally displaced persons, along with the village population are settled down in Tbilisi, mainly. Unemployment is the main problem in the country. Among socially disadvantaged population, there are some in a critical situation, without housing, however, there is no statistics about them. Two years ago, it was established a tent shelter for homeless people on Moscow Avenue in Tbilisi.

Mamuka, 49 years old. He has been working on Station Square as a luggage carrier for 20 years. These 20 years he lives on the same cart, he makes living with. He is single, homeless person. Tbilisi, Georgia

According to city authorities, tents are just a temporary solution, while a new shelter is created soon. Notwithstanding, how perfect the new shelter is going to be, some of homeless people are reluctant to settle there. There are several categories of homeless people. Those who work with cart, alcohol addicted, internally displaced, ex prisoners, and those who left house because of conflicts. Homeless people from the station square are the ones who work with cart. This is the only income they have and meantime, cart is there bed during nights as well. Some of them are from regions and they would prefer not to waste money for house rent. Some of them cannot return to homes because of conflict, some, just have nowhere to go. Undergrounds, counters of outside traiders, street markets, are overnight stay for them.

One can meet such a scene frequently in Tbilisi squares and streets, especially during nights. There is no statistics on homeless persons in Georgia. Tbilisi, Georgia

Shengelia Giorgi – artist, photographer and photojournalist. Born in 1984 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Graduated from Insitute in 2006, faculty of communication, and in 2009 moved with his family to live in Florence, Italy. While living there Giorgi became interested in art and photography in 2012 he decided to take a course in photojournalism in the school of Marangoni. After finishing His first photo project (four rooms) he moved back to live to Tbilisi, Georgia. Since 2013 George Shengelia is living in Georgia and works on independent photo projects,he also doth work in regards to modern art. In 2014 he was chosen for Noor-Nikon Masterclass Istambul and from same year he is collaborating with Tbilisi Photo Festival, since 2015 he’s also collaborated with photojournalist collective Dysturb.

Website: shengeliagiorgi.com

Tevdore Mgvdeli St. 01:00. 45-60 years old men. This place is the most comfortable for homeless persons, because on the other side there is a café, where they can find some food. Tbilisi, Georgia

Vitaliy Mgebrishvili is 46 years old. He travels from Gurjaani to Tbilisi time-to-time. He is not married, he has mother. According to him, he got used to alcohol from the age of 20. Since then, he mainly lives his life under alcohol intoxication. Tbilisi, Georgia

Lali, 30 years old. She lives with her sister, in Tbilisi; however, she escapes sometimes and prefers to wander in streets, she does not go back, even for night. She lives like this for 8 years already. Tbilisi, Georgia

Beso 33 years old. Works as transporter in Samgori Market. Tbilisi, Georgia

Guram, 60 years old. Lives in Kaspi. Time-by-time he arrives to Tbilisi for work. He either rents a room, or stays in the street. Tbilisi, Georgia

Levan, 51 years old. Internally displaced person from Abkhazia. His parent were killed during the war. He has been working as a carrier, since his arrival to Tbilisi. He drinks frequently, because of poverty and life challenges. He is single homeless person. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tsereteli Avenua. Late night, near Bazaar. People buy alcohol here. One can frequently find a homeless alcoholic person sleeping on the stairs. Tbilisi, Georgia

Aleko, 59 years old. He arrived to Tbilisi 18 years ago, because of poverty. He has wife and a child in a village. He has been working a luggage carrier for 16 years. Tbilisi, Georgia

Galya Saplinko, born on 1965. She was working in the garment factory, in Tbilisi. After collapse of USSR and internal conflicts in Georgia, she left to Russia, then, returned to Georgia after the war. In strange circumstances she was kicked out from her house. Since then, she has been living in the street for 19 years already. She lives in one of the entrances of the building, she used to have a home. Tbilisi, Georgia

Mamuka, 46 years old. He died on December 2015. He has been living and working in the street for 20 years. Tbilisi, Georgia.

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International Photography Grant 2019