Posted: 4 months ago

Birzhastation Opening on October 21

Birzhastation is a place of gathering, commonness, and belongingness; A place for the acceptance, and sharing of information. This temporary installation is located on the former Academe-city territory and merges with the contextual importance of the place. The project is intended to encourage the rest of the world to learn about Tbilisi’s political-aesthetic experience.

In the frameworks of TAB, Birzhastation will host an active program of discussions, debates, and libations (physically and online) to create a zone of openness, publicness, intimacy, perversion, wildness, commonality, and collective social condensation, inspired by the Georgian practice of Birzha – which stands in opposition to the pseudo-transparency of the neoliberal ideology of architectural transparency in the post–Socialist world.
The online and physical space of Birzhastation will as well be open for the local interventions.
To attended the event one should register online -
Birzhastation will hold on October 21st at 6 pm in London and at 9 pm in Tbilisi.

Evgenia Zakharova who is a researcher at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences, will hold a lecture "Male Friendship and Honor on the Birzhas of Tbilisi".
Tbilisi birzhas are associated not only with tough guys, street code, and the obsession with sunflower seeds but also with dzmakatsoba – the specific form of male friendship.
When discussing dzmakatsoba with Georgians you can often hear that with its special high values and obligations of friends to each other this form of friendship is unparalleled in other cultures. From the case of dzmakatsoba we learn how friendship may resemble kin relations, become subjected to ideology, and act as an instrument of social status and control.
In 2017 Evgenia Zakharova obtained her doctoral degree in anthropology with her dissertation entitled "Men's Neighborhood Communities of Tbilisi: structure and functioning," which discusses the Georgian street as a social, political, and legal phenomenon".
On October 25th, Misha Svanidze will conduct an open discussion at 4 pm in London/ and 7 pm in Tbilisi.
"How does the idea and practice of birzha transform through Georgia’s post Soviet history? Is it a symptom of social and political development or does it signify resistance? Are we losing birzha as a minimal public space and, if so, what comes after?
The special guest will be Keti Chukhrov.
Mikheil Svanidze is a sociologist from Tbilisi. He has studied Sociology at Tbilisi State University and obtained a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the Central European University. His research interests include public space, social movements, inequality, mobility, and politics at large in a post-socialist context. Methods-wise Mikheil positions himself as an anthropologist with extensive qualitative fieldwork expertise. Currently, he is working towards his Ph.D. thesis on the production and reproduction of urban inequality in Georgia as seen through the lens of Tbilisi’s formal and informal transport systems.", is written in the description of the event.
One can register here:
On October 29th, Costanza Curro discussed the matters of Common Space Between the Street and the Prison.
"Reforms of prison space have had a strong impact on the social and cultural fabric of post-Soviet Georgian prisons, shifting from collectivist models to increasingly individualized spatial and social arrangements. This talk discusses the multifaceted connections between these transformations and changing ideas and practices of commonality among men in the streets of Tbilisi.
Costanza Curro is a social anthropologist based at the University of Helsinki, where she is working on a project on ethnicity in the prisons of the Soviet Union and communist successor states of Central and Eastern Europe. Costanza’s work focuses on masculinities, urban spaces and practices of commonality and sharing. She has written about hospitality in Georgia after the Rose Revolution and birzha in Saak’ashvili’s times.", the description of the event reads.
On November 4th, Ana Chorgolashvili will hold a presentation on a new issue of Danarti.

The 13th edition of Danarti was made in the framework of the project - ACT UP - organized by Dekabristen e.V.
Ana Chorgolashvili works as an art historian/architecture, researcher/curator. She is involved in various local and international art projects and exhibitions. Ana, together with the local curator, Elene Abashidze and art historian Irine Djordjadze, is a founder of an independent, interdisciplinary, bilingual publication Danarti.
In Collaboration with Gio Sumbadze, Ana is the co-founder of U.R.L (Urban Research Laboratory). In 2015, in collaboration with the Book Art Center, Ana published a guidebook for the Soviet Modernist Architecture of Tbilisi.
In 2018, Ana edited a special issue of Danarti – Buildings Are not Enough – which was devoted to the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial. In 2020, together with a Czech artist Barbora Gallova, Ana launched Community Radio Tbilisi – an online media platform.
Authors: David Brodsky, Ana Chorgolashvili in collaboration with PPV/ - Michal Murawski (Gold Zamt), Masha Mileeva and Denis Maksimov (Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East)
The project is implemented within the frameworks of TAB; and is supported by City Hall, the UCL European Institute (UCL EI); and The FRINGE Centre (UCL SSEES)