We’re slightly offended whenever we see Tbilisi featured in those listicles like “Ten Best Cheap Weekend Getaways in Europe.” This is not a city that you can experience with a small taste in order to appreciate its magic. This is a city that you need to immerse yourself in, with its private late conversations in bed, early morning lights, and whispers that conjure a smile. It is only in Tbilisi’s intimate moments that it reveals its reasons why you should fall in love with it.
Like anything intimate, it is much easier to forge than it is to distill. Yet, this is the exact beauty that is photographer Dina Oganova. Her photos don’t just depict Tbilisi; they breathe Tbilisi. Her capacity to capture the magic of the Georgian capital is what makes her one of Tbilisi’s most celebrated photographers and one of our favourite people.
We couldn’t think of any person better to reach out to help us and others understand the most beautiful city in the world than Dina. Make sure to follow her on Instagram!
Where in Tbilisi makes you feel most comfortable?
I love my studio. My home is definitely my world. It is where I feel most comfortable. It is where I feel most naturally myself, drink wine, laugh and sometimes cry about drama in my life. Sometimes, I just enjoy the view from the window of my beautiful city.
What makes you miss Tbilisi when you’re abroad?
I would first change the question to “Who makes you miss Tbilisi?” Of course, it is my family and friends that are part of my small world. I would also include my grandma’s house smell. I don’t know how to explain it with words but when I’m missing home the first thing that comes to mind is my grandmother’s house.
If you could go on a date with one Tbilian (dead or alive) then who would it be?
I remember you bringing this question up while we drank coffee in Gallery but I realized now that I would have to ask my father out on a date. He died when I was too young and I miss him. If I’m bringing anyone back from the dead then it has to be him.
When is your favourite time of year in Tbilisi?
After the summer. It’s not autumn but it is just that short period after summer. It will start very soon and unfortunately, I won’t be in the city then. You can still wear a beautiful dress but you’ll just need a sweater while wandering the Old Town in the evening.
If you picked one song that summarized the feeling of Tbilisi then what would it be?
Right now, the only one song that is coming to my mind is Artificial Love by Sergi Gvarjaladze.
What do you eat when you’re by yourself?
It depends on mood and time generally speaking. If I have time, I love to eat Georgian food a lot. It’s very tasty and I can eat a lot of things as a vegetarian but if I don’t have time then I’ll mostly eat fruit, chocolate, and ice –cream!
Can you describe Didube marshrutka station in one word?
For me, it is always #OnTheRoad!
What photographer in Tbilisi is exciting you these days?
I love to look at my favorite Georgian photographer Gogi Tsagareli’s old work and new work. He’s just turned 71 years and still every day with a camera doing some magic, so I love to see what he’ll do next.
Could you ever live in Kutaisi?
Sometimes I think I could live in any city on the planet, so why not Kutaisi? Talking about Georgian cities then I love to live in my capital Tbilisi but sometimes in beautiful Batumi.
Tell me one quote that summarizes Tbilisi?
“Tbilisi loves u“