Archive for the ‘The Conversations Project’ Category
If you know me, you are not surprised that this happened, with the help of my Geoair pals:
Tuesday night in Tbilisi, Elizabeth White and I held our first public conversation at the Center of Contemporary Art — Tbilisi. We devised a series of questions that would act as prompts for our audience to interview each other, translated into Georgian:
- What do you do to make money?
- What do you do to have fun?
- How do you define yourself?
- What types of creative activities do you regularly engage in (writing, singing, art-making, dancing, etc.)?
- With whom do you share these creative activities?
- Do you feel you are part of a creative community? Who else is engaged in that community?
- Has there been anything in the last ten years that has made you want to engage in the world more creatively or disengage from the creative process, whether political, financial, personal issues, lack of space, etc.
- What kinds of responses to your work make you want to engage in the world more creatively (applause, laughter, money, recognition, awards)?
- What kinds of responses to your work make you disinterested in engaging in the world creatively (public apathy, lack of recognition, lack of funding, political fears)?
- Ideally, what would you be doing with your time?
- Ideally, what resources would be in place for you to be able to do that?
- List three reasons why you don’t do more creative work.
- Propose three policies or laws that would make it easier for you to do more creative work.
- Draw, map, or diagram the ideal social network or physical space for you to share and experience creative work.
- Are there other questions you believe should be asked here?
The participants spent half an hour or so interviewing each other and taking notes—in German, Georgian, English, and Russian—and then we convened in the upstairs hallway of the CCA – Tbilisi building.
Upstairs, we asked everyone to write on the windows: bottom row for phrases that came up regarding creative identity, middle row for phrases that came up regarding barriers to creative freedom, and top row for words and phrases that talk about ideal environments for creative expression.
Relevant here is the graffiti that appears around town with some frequency, “Sorry, Where is the Contemporary Art Museum?” Which by the end of the night had been transcribed along the top tier of windows.
First night in Georgia. Georgians sing when they drink wine and they drink wine when they are awake. Sometimes, if you are lucky, they also dance.
We finished up an amazing first Georgian meal on a hilltop restaurant called Racha, above the Ethnographic museum.
Two tables behind us began singing and then, dancing.
What I’m trying to explain is that the tables weren’t connected before the singing started, but then, once the guitar started being passed from person to person, various other diners joined in.
You might also be interested to hear the songs themselves. Georgian Feast