„The final days of georgian nomads“

Natela Grigalashvili

Natela Grigalashvili grew up in rural Georgia and has been drawing since she was a child. Because she fell in love with cinema at an early age, she later wanted to become a documentary camera woman and discovered her passion for photography.

She started her first steps with a Soviet “Smena”.

After gaining her experience as the first female photojournalist in post-Soviet Georgia, one day she left everything behind and was able to invest more time in her independence to work on her own projects thanks to a scholarship from the “Open Society Foundation”.

These projects, both conscious and unconscious, are connected to her live and her past. That's why she focuses primarily on rural areas and the people with whom she feels spiritually connected.

Since 2013, the Georgian photographer has been traveling regularly to the Adjara region, where she captures and preserves the lives of the nomads who live there. Her intensive long-term project is about ancient values, traditions and communities that are increasingly threatened with extinction in the face of globalization. Her images bring a fine balance of tenderness and harshness to her documentation of life in the mountains.

Inevitably, the way of life in mountainous Adjara will change. In Grigalashvili’s photographs, the misty highland landscape will always feel like home.

With her pictures she expresses her joy, movement and dynamism; She is not only an observer of what is happening, but also an empathetic participant. Two women are talking overlooking an open mountain gorge. A rider sets off into the mountains, shrouded in fog. The bride and groom, elegantly dressed, arrive on horseback. At dusk, only the warm orange light from the windows of the wooden huts illuminates the village street. Time seems to stand still in Natela Grigalashvili's photographs of mountainous Adjara.

"I want to depict the lives of these people in my photos, to preserve the traditions that are disappearing with population decline and globalization - to preserve what may no longer exist tomorrow."

Grigalashvili, born in 1965, now lives as a freelance documentary photographer in Tbilisi, Georgia. Due to her remarkable work, Natela Grigalashvili was awarded the Alexander Roinishvili Prize in 2007 for her contribution to Georgian photography. In 2009 she was the cinematographer for Irakli Paniashvili's film "Sergo Gotverani". In 2023 she was nominated for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award.

Join us on this fascinating journey through the most remote and almost inaccessible parts of Adjarian valleys with the Georgian nomads living there, captured by Natela Grigalashvili with her inimitable, fascinating imagery.

Natela Grigalashvili „The final days of georgian nomads“
02/17/2024 - 04/13/2024
Leica Gallery Nuremberg