So much of the mythology of Georgia stems from its experiences during the 90’s. It is both a period of heartbreak, with the traumatic loss of lives due to the secessionist and the civil war, and a time when Georgians now in their late twenties and early thirties remember feeling a tremendous sense of solidarity with their friends and family under a shared hardship. It is lamented in movies like “Tangerines” and celebrated at themed parties hosted by Ezo restaurant annually. What is evident though is that the spectres of the 90’s still linger throughout Georgian society.
The influence of the 1990’s can be most felt in the work of Georgia’s up-and-coming artists. This influence has clearly shaped Georgian fashion and filmmakers but equally its photography scene. Looking to explore and comprehend what the influence of the 90’s means, four Tbilisi-based photographers came together to create the 90xcollective. Lasha Tsertsvadze, Mano Svanidze, Nino Ana Samkharadze and Thoma Sukhashvili teamed up less so on their shared aesthetic approach and more so due to their shared historical experience.
According to the collective’s co-founder Nino Ana Samkharadze, the four photographers have come together through their shared friendship and past. She said “We are children of the 90’s and members of the generation that grew up in the wake of the Soviet collapse. The holdovers of that period can be located in our photography. We share the same struggles, pain, love, and we are all thirsty for changes.”
They look to break away from the selfishness they see creeping into the Georgian photo scene, by looking to work collectively and collaboratively. Echoing that political sentiment, all four photographers embrace some notion of social justice through their work to create some of Georgia’s most exciting photography.