International Festival of Photography
10 th edition

September 12-21

2019 press release programme 2019

The Tbilisi Photo Festival returns for its 10th annual celebration of world-class photography with a lively program of outstanding exhibitions, engaging events and the Night of Photography - open air nights screenings to be held in Mushtaidi Park. In nine years, TPF has firmly established itself as the global hub for international photography at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road.

This is a pivotal year for Tbilisi Photo Festival, as the foundations for the Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum have been laid! This is the first institution in Georgia focusing on the contemporary image in all its forms - photo, video, new medias - and will promote photography as a catalyst for social and cultural changes in Georgia and the South Caucasus. The museum will be located at Stamba - an old Soviet-era publishing house that has been transformed in a design hotel this year.

September 12
Opening Night

The Tbilisi Photo Festival (TPF) returns for its 10th annual celebration of world-class photography with a dynamic program of outstanding exhibitions, engaging events and the Night of Photography - open air night screenings in Mushtadi Park, the oldest park in Tbilisi.
In the past decade, the festival has become one of the most important artistic events of South Caucasus region. Its identity has been fashioned by the creative ways it uses the medium of photography to reflect on the most challenging issues of our current times. TPF has also firmly established itself as the global hub for international photography at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, promoting and supporting regional photography and presenting the works of some of the world’s most renown photographers and the most exciting newcomers, as well.

September 12
The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

© Nan Goldin. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery. Copyright: Nan Goldin.

One of TPF 2019’s main highlights is the opening night screening of The Ballad of Sexual Dependency – an iconic body of work by acclaimed American photographer Nan Goldin. Her work will be seen in Georgia for the first time and resonates with the most challenging issues that contemporary Georgian society is facing such as gender, sexuality, violence, addiction. The Ballad is Ms. Goldin’s intimate visual diary that explores the human condition. This work that has been so influential on photography is con-sidered a contemporary classic. 

September 13
Arctic: New Frontier

 Arctic: New Frontier

© Kadir Van Lohuizen/Noor for Carmignac Foundation

Arctic: New Frontier by NOOR photographers Yuri Kozyrev and Kadir van Lohuizen, who have been awarded the 9th edition of Carmignac Photojournalism Award. Both photographers travelled through 15,000km of the Arctic Circle to investigate the startling effects of climate change on the land and its indigenous communities.

September 14
MAPS: Focus on Transmission

 MAPS: Focus on Transmission

© John Trotter/MAPS

This year, TPF invites for the first time MAPS Images, a collective that gathers different generations of documentary photographers that propose new ways and approaches of storytelling to address the world's changing environment and societies.  Photographers Alessandro Penso, Chiquinquira Garcia, Christian Lutz, Dominic Nahr, John Trotter, John Vink, and Justyna Mielnikiewicz will present a talk and slide show titled “MAPS: Focus on Transmis-sion,” which is about how ideas can be communicated across various media, not limited to image alone.

September 14
Night of Photography - 10th edition

Night of Photography - 10th edition

© Sebastian Meyer. Lalish, Iraq 2015. Under Every Yard of Sky.

In 2010 TPF debuted with the Night of Photography, an open air night screening in Old Tbilisi. It was the only event of the festival and the first time international photography from leading publications, agen-cies and institutions was ever featured on ten giant screens in the capital. Thousands of people gath-ered in the streets of Old Tbilisi for this exclusive viewing. The first edition of Tbilisi Night of Photog-raphy was made possible by partnership with Les Rencontres d’Arles.  The idea behind the creation of Night of Photography was to have a platform that uses the medium of photography as a universal language to connect Georgia to the rest of the world - the reality of the contemporary world and its most challenging issues were brought to Georgia. The Night of Photog-raphy, now one of the premiere artistic events in the wider Caucasus region, continues bringing the world of photography to Tbilisi.  For the 10th edition, the Tbilisi Night of Photography will conduct open air night-time screenings of first-class photography from around the world, in partnership with Night of Photography of Les Rencon-tresd’Arles (France).  This year, night projections will be held in the capital’s oldest park Mushtaidi Park on September 14th.  This year’s Night of Photography program features local, regional and emerging international photog-raphy, including: Fresh Eye by GUP Magazine; festival Circulation(s) or Parallel Project with works of promising European artists; winners of the Cap Prize for African Photography. So Sweet Ukraine will feature contemporary Ukrainian photography presented by Odessa Photo Days. Under every Yard of Sky is by Sebastian Mayer, an American photographer and co-founder of the first Iraqi photo agency,  Metrography. The story delivers a breathtaking and intimate journey through modern Iraqi Kurdistan that he documented between 2008 and 2016. It also marks five years since the Iraqi Kurdish photogra-pher and Metrography co -founder Kamara Najm, was been kidnapped by ISSI. In fact, Kamara was among the Tbilisi Photo Festival 2012’s guests of honor, when Metrography photographers were fea-tured in the Night of Photography program.

September 15
Birds' Nesters

Birds' Nesters

© Grégoire Eloy. The Birds' Nesters

The Birds' Nesters by Frenchman Grégoire Eloy is a personal journey into understanding the human relation to nature by constructing conceptual visual approaches. The documentary / conceptual photo project is made of images from Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney created between September 2016 and June 2018, as part of the Artist in Residence program of the Guernsey Photography Festival. 

September 15


© Weronika Gesicka. Confusion

Alongside with established and renowned international photographers, emerging Eastern European photography will also be featured in the TPF program. Confusion by young Polish photographer Weronika Gesicka , is a series of images that challenge the concept of the American Dream and hint at its hidden, dark underbelly.

September 16
Launch of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum

Launch of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum

For the 10th Anniversary of the festival, TPF will launch the Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum (TPMM) - the first institution in Georgia that focuses on the contemporary image and promotes pho-tography as a catalyst for social and cultural change in Georgia and South Caucasus. It is home to a vast collection of images that represent the rich traditions of the national and regional visual culture.
Located at the highly-rated designer hotel, Stamba, the inauguration of TPMM is the central event of opening week and will feature the video installation UNUS MUNDUS: Rituals and Trances, by the French artist duo - Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon. Their multi-screen installation, which took ten years to make, is composed of more than 100 films that explore the world of sacred music and rituals. By documenting trance ceremonies and spiritual gatherings around the world (ie. Sufi rituals in Chech-nya, shamanic plant uses in the Amazon, Ethiopian church chants, Javanese popular trances) the instal-lation is designed to create another type of relationship for the viewer. There is no beginning nor end-ing, the entire installation runs in a loop but is displayed in an alternative system of randomness - there is never any repetition, all the compositions are constantly new and create new meanings all the time.

September 17
Migrants Odyssey in Europe

Migrants Odyssey in Europe

© Alessandro Penso/MAPS. The European Dream.

Migrants Odyssey in Europe will focus on the contemporary crisis of migration and its aftermath, with a panel discussion and screening program. The panel will gather artists that have photographed the migration issues: Irish photographer Richard Mosse, Italian Alessandro Penso from MAPS, Thomas Dworzak from Magnum Photos and Omar Imam, a Syrian photographer and refugee based in Amster-dam. Other international experts of migration will illuminate the issue further. The migration crisis is not a contemporary affair, but age-old. It is always a story of loss. People forget that a century ago, Europeans left Europe for political, economic, social, cultural, and religious reasons while nowadays non-Europeans are coming to Europe for the same reasons.
The discussion will be orchestrated by Polish-Georgian photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz.
The first part of the screening program - In and Out of Europe - will feature the works of above-mentioned photographers, as well as The Bureaucracy of Angels – a short film produced by Adam Broomberg & Olivier Chanarin that recorded the demolition of 100 migrant boats in Sicily during the winter of 2016; Odysseia by Antoine d’Agata, and the 19th century amateur, Augustus Frederick Sherman, whose riveting, turn-of-century-portraits of European immigrants at Ellis Island are archived at the New York Public Library.
Part 2 will include features on migration in an out of Georgia. Since the EU’s 2017 visa liberalization law, Georgians have been leaving the country in record numbers. Very often the reality Georgian migrants face is quite the opposite of what they imagined. Meanwhile, citizens of neighboring countries and Africa have migrated to Georgia in search of better lives.
Migrant communities in Georgia have been photographed both by international and Georgian photog-raphers that depict the reality migrants face, including how fake news plays a significant role in forming negative attitudes.

September 18
What’s Your Story? Kummer & Herrman: 20 years of design for photobooks

What’s Your Story? Kummer & Herrman: 20 years of design for photobooks

TPF has the special pleasure of hosting Jeroen Kummer, Artistic Director of Kummer & Herrman, one of the most renowned photobook designers in the world
K&H is in fact, a multidisciplinary creative office that develops publications, exhibitions, visual identi-ties, and campaigns over a wide range of media.
Mr. Kummer talk and slide show “What’s Your Story?” will focus on his 20 years of designing for photo books.

September 19
The Information War: Focus on Russia

The Information War: Focus on Russia

© Gleb Garanich/Reuters. Russian-Georgian War 2008.

The Information War: Focus on Russia is a second central theme of TPF 2019 that will be a panel dis-cussion and screening program. The panel will gather Beth Flynn, Deputy photo-editor for the New York Times; Yevhen Fedchenko, Director of Mohyla School of Journalism in Kiev and founder of StopFake in Ukraine, an investigative journalism website that specializes in fact-checking and open source investigation; Anna Shpakova, former director of Photography at Ogoniok and RIA Novosti; and Georgian open source analyst Eto Buziashvili, from the Atlantic Council, who will present the Open Source Investigation on Georgian Occupation.

The experts will share their experiences on how they combine fact-checking with open source infor-mation to create reports on various news items. Special focus will be given to Russia, Georgia and Ukraine, as the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign has been a major war tool against these two coun-tries. The screening program will also feature Selfie Soldiers: Russia Checks Into Ukraine a documen-tary by Simon Ostrovsky that traces the Russian soldiers social media accounts to prove that they were fighting in Ukraine.

September 20
Citizens of Photography: The Camera And The Political Imagination

Citizens of Photography: The Camera And The Political Imagination

© Christopher Pinney_Painted backdrop of Chakra Studios, Kathmandu, Nepal showing the ‘Fishtail’ peak, part of the Annapurna Range.

Citizens of Photography: The Camera And The Political Imagination is a reflection on the power of im-ages by a group of international visual anthropologists arranged by professor Christopher Pinney from London UCL. Photographs clearly have the power to crystalize and precipitate political sentiment. This project involves the relocation of a set of insights about photography and politics from one domain (photojournalism) to another domain (self-representation), where those questions are rarely asked, but may be more consequential.
In the frame of this project researchers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Greece, Cambodia, Nicara-gua, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria study a set of questions which recent transformations in political and pho-tographic theory have made possible, and which the current ‘war of images’ makes urgent and neces-sary. The event will be hosted by newly inaugurated Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum.

September 21
Contemporary South Caucasian Photography

Contemporary South Caucasian Photography

One of the strengths of the TPF is its ability to transcend the political differences between South Cau-casian nations and unite artists and photographers through the medium of the image. For 2019, the TPF continues this tradition by bringing together authors from across the region into one exhibition space to exhibit over 20 projects from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Titled, Across the Mountains: South Caucasus Photography, Volume I, the show includes various gen-res - from documentary and photojournalism, to multimedia, video and art projects - that exist on the verge of contemporary art and photography. The aim is to promote the new generation of South Cau-casian artists working on tough topics that mainstream society often overlooks. These topics include evolving traditional values, gender (with a focus on women rights and masculinity), conflicts, immigra-tion, minorities, and marginalization.
TPF has specially invited champions of cross-border storytelling, the multi award-winning regional me-dia platform, Chai Khana, and Salaam Cinema - a new independent platform in Azerbaijan that pro-motes equality, inclusion and diversity throughout the program of performing arts, creative movies, exhibitions and educational workshops. The show is initiated by Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Mu-seum and is part of the project – South Caucasus Photography Hub for education and Innovation.

12 Sep

Stamba Amphitheatre, Hotel Stamba. 14, M. Kostava str.

22:30 The Ballad of Sexual Dependency

Nan Goldin. Screening at BASSIANI club.

13 Sep
19:00 ARCTIC : New Frontier

Yuri Kozyrev & Kadir Van Lohuizen. Bath District / Legvtakhevi.

14 Sep
16.00-18.00 MAPS: Focus on Transmission

Alessandro Penso. Chiquinquira Garcia. Christian Lutz. Dominic Nahr. John Trotter. John Vink. Justyna Mielnikiewicz. Rooms Garden Hall 14, M. Kostava str., Rooms Garden Hall.


Rejected pipelines. Mushtaidi Park.

20:00-03:00 Night of Photography

Mushtaidi Park. Open air screening. 20.00 kordz - rejected pipelines /live music/

15 Sep
16:00 ARCTIC: New Frontier

Talk by Yuri Kozyrev & Kadir Van Lohuizen. Rooms Garden Hall 14, M. Kostava str.,

19:00 The Birds' Nesters

Grégoire Eloy / Tendance Floue. G. Leonidze Literature Museum 8 G. Chanturia Str.,

19.00 Confusion

Weronika Gesicka. G. Leonidze Literature Museum 8 G. Chanturia Str.,

21:00-01:00 GALLERIES x PHOTO FESTIVAL* *at night

ERTI GALLERY ‘Light Machines ‘ by Koka Ramishvili Curator: Karine Tissot 19 P. Ingorokva str. PROJECT ARTBEAT Nata Sopromadze & David Meskhi 14 P. Ingorokva str. UNTITLED GALLERY Alternative archive exhibition 17, Ivane Machabeli str. GALLERY WAREHOUSE Sopho Kobidze Solo show 35 Tabukashvili str. PATARA GALLERY Sandro Sulaberidze Solo Show Vake Park Underpass MAUDI ‘Luminescence’ Open Call for Georgia based visual artists 140 A.Tsereteli Ave.

16 Sep
18:30 Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum Opening

TPMM, M. Kostava str. 14


Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon. Tbilisi Photography and Multimedia Museum, 14, M. Kostava str.,

17 Sep
18:30-21:30 Migrants’ Odyssey in Europe

Panel discussion/screening Speakers: Alessandro Penso, photographer / MAPS (Italy) Omar Imam, photographer (Syria/ Holland) Thomas Dworzak, photographer / Magnum (Germany) Richard Mosse, photographer (Ireland) Violetta Wagner, Migration expert / Regional Portfolio Manager at ICMPD (Lithuania) Art on Underground (UK) Moderator: Justyna Mielnikiewicz, photographer (Poland/Georgia) Stamba Amphitheater, 14, M. Kostava str.

18:30-22:00 Migrants' Odyssey in Europe Screening program

PART I Migration: In and Out of Europe Odysseia by Antoine D’Agata / Magnum Photos Europa by Thomas Dworzak/Magnum Photos Live, Love, Refugee by Omar Imam The European Dream by Alessandro Penso Portraits of European Migrants by Augustus Frederick Sherman PART II Migration: In and Out of Georgia Marika Amurvelashvili /Georgia: Nigerians Living in Tbilisi Justyna Mielnikiewicz /Poland / Georgia: Cameroonian Football Players in Georgia Julien Pebrel, MYOP/France: Minorities Living in Georgia Ivor Picket, PANOS /UK: Punjabi Indians Farming in Kakheti Tako Robakidze /Error Images/Georgia: Georgian Women Working in Greece Nata Sopromadze /Error Images/Georgia: Iranians in Tbilisi Stamba Amphitheatre 14, M. Kostava str.,

18 Sep
19:00 What’s Your Story? Kummer & Herrman: 20 years of design for photobooks

Jeroen Kummer –Artistic Director at Kummer & Herrman talk /slideshow Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum, 14, M. Kostava str.,

19 Sep
18:30-22.00 Information War: focus on Russia

panel discussion /screening Speakers: Eto Buziashvili /Atlantic Council’s DFR LAB (Georgia) Yevhen Fedchenko /StopFake (Ukraine) Beth Flynn/New York Times (USA) Anna Shpakova/Independent Curator Moderator: Justyna Mielnikiewicz Screening Program: Open Source Investigation on Georgian Occupation by Eto Buziashvili. Stop Fake by Yevhen Fedchenko. News in The Age of Disinformation by Beth Flynn. Selfies Soldiers: Russia Checks Into Ukraine, documentary by Simon Ostrovsky/Vice News. History of Soviet Propaganda by Anna Shpakova. Stamba, D Block Ground Floor, 14, M. Kostava str.,

20 Sep
18:30 CITIZENS OF PHOTOGRAPHY: the camera and the political imagination

Panel discussion / Slideshow. Naluwembe Binaisa, Vindhya Buthoitiya, Christopher Pinney, Ileana Selejan, Sokphea Young. Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum, 14, M. Kostava str.,

21 Sep

Curated by Anna Shpakova. Agil Abdullayev, Mery Aghakhanyan, Nazik Armenakyan, Areg Balayan, Rena Effendi,Leyli Gafarova, Anka Gujabidze, Eric Grigoryan, Anahit Hayrapetyan, Ilkin Huseynov, Sitara Ibrahimova, Ehtiram Jabi, Piruza Khalapyan, Lado Lomitashvili, Elturan Mammadov, Karen Mirzoyan, Dina Oganova, Tako Robakidze, Nata Sopromadze, Zamir Suleymanov. Special Program:Chai - Khana Media Program, Salaam Cinema Film Program, IN FOCUS: June 20th - Protests. MOMA Z. Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art, 27 Shota Rustaveli Ave,