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13 Sep 2020

I_Residency: Projects created by Mariam Natroshvili during isolation


"How to End Pandemic?"




Wish I were burnt and you were safe,

When I have started the fire.

Alas, you are burnt, I am alive.


In spring, in the time of pandemic, transgender woman tried to burn herself. Little earlier, at the Easter night, a bullet shot into the air by policeman, the blind bullet, killed a woman in her own house. In summer, husband shot three bullets to sleeping wife in Surami. And that was not the end. First, they found the little boy dead in the river, and then the girl got lost from her home.


How to list all of this here? Neither time nor paper will suffice.

Seems like somebody turned the box upside down and the violence and hatred spread over the city.

The city met it with silence and indifference. Nothing was there to stop them, so they remained.

This text is a report, or a recommendation, if you wish, given by the Center for Disease Control.



Pandemic started long ago.

Nobody counts the days.

There is neither medicine, nor vaccine.

Nothing saves from this plague.

It became incurable illness.

Some claim it does not exist.

Where do so many dead come from then?

It easily spreads. It is contagious.

Geographically, it covers the entire globe.

Symptoms cannot be confused with anything else.

First you feel fever.

You feel cold in your hands.

Your hands freeze.

You lose your senses.

Your skin turns grey.

First your heart petrifies.

Then, all your parts turn into the cold stone.

The eyes – into pebbles.

Those you can find at the seacoast. Full of hatred.



If you contract the plague, if the plague is spread over the city, more dead are expected. It won’t stop.

Something is rotten. So, what’s going to stop it?



Many myths and incorrect information are spreading – including about the spread of the virus, how we shall protect ourselves, and what to do, if you suspect that you’ve contracted this virus.

It is recommended to constantly pay attention to the recommendations of the central or local government on travel, education and other matters, and be aware of the most recent recommendations and news on these issues.




The stones asked: was he freezing? feeling cold? or why was he set on fire? why did he light the fire over his body?

Houses of Tbilisi, the apartment buildings, toothless apartment buildings burst out with laughter. They say: only those are humans, who are like us. We can hear the death and desperation of only those, who cross themselves along us in their cars, in churches, at masses, in the streets, at the concerts.

We heed them, we cry for them, who deny themselves. Who has the strong hand and is a man, who is powerful.

Only death of those will sadden us, who was killed by the husband, killed, because she deserved it. Beaten, because she asked for it. The family is sacred and whatever happens there, shall remain within. The family is sacred, and it secrets myhhr. Myhhr is pouring from every window laughing. The mouths of the toothless buildings secret myhhr.

What is that smell?

Until you feel this smell, you won’t understand that this is a pus, not the myhhr. You cover your face, nose with your hands, o, my god what a stink. You can’t laugh any more. You shut your eyes in a vain hope that this terrible smell of carrion will disappear. Was not it the myhhr that was pouring? Were not our hands pure? Killer hands that shoot into the sky on the Easter night, that beat the wife, that lit the candle? Where did so much pus come from? How did it build up in such an amount?



You shall bath in the fire.

Pour the fire over you. Remove this hatred with fire. You won’t be able to wash it off otherwise.

Apply gasoline instead of soap. You shall foam it well. Let the fire run from the tap and pour it over yourself. Do you have a scrub? The fireproof scrub. To properly remove that stinking hatred.



The hatred is enthroned in the city. Not just one day, not suddenly, but little by little, unnoticed, silently got to reign. Indifference, fear and silene are his servants. Ferocity is his crown. His shield is masculinity, so called. Violence is his spouse.

Every month he claims new victim. Children and women.

Names of deceased are beaded on his necklace. Their eyes are the stones in his rings.

For dinner he has: “she deserved”. For supper: “she asked for this”.



Wind came and brought the ashes along. Are these ashes or dust? Is this the ash blizzard or fog? Nothing can be seen.

What was this sound? Is it a shot or just wind slammed the door?

As the dawn came, the woman killed in her bad broke the news. Everybody heard of this. Everybody was informed.

How many women thought: “was it me, who was killed?

Am I that woman, whose name they do not announce, who was killed in her sleep?”

Everybody thought, everybody touched their own body, checked whether it’s there or not.

Everybody looked into the mirror: are they still visible? Are they still there or not? Did they survive or not? Are they dead or alive?



What is the name of those who hate and kill, who make others disappear, who mute others, who beat and shout? Who shoot the sleeping ones?

They turn into the unnamed boulders. Unnamed dusty pebbles.

They shall have neither voice nor words.

They shall not see, nor hear, nor feel anything.

Those who hate shall turn into stones.

Thus, it ends.

I_Residency (inside, isolation residency) project was created in partnership with the Tbilisi Photography and MultimediaMuseum and Tbilisi Photo Festival with support of the UNDP and the Governmentof Sweden through the UN Joint Project for Gender Equality.