All photos taken in June 2016, July 2017 and June 2018 when I was teaching street photography workshops there. Most are from Tbilisi, while a few were taken on day trips to neighbouring towns of Rustavi and Mtskheta.
Tbilisi is a very interesting city, a true blend of old and new. “The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian) and Byzantine, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Beaux-Arts, Middle Eastern, and Soviet modern styles” (wiki). Visiting some neigbourhoods is like going back in time – old houses or huge Soviet blocks, rusty Soviet cars, kids kicking the ball, ladies chatting on benches. Other places have a contemporary and cosmopolitan feel – fancy restaurants, chic young people, flashy cars. There are countless markets brimming with activities, lively parks and incredibly old and atmospheric Orthodox churches. Exploring random neighbourhoods is a very rewarding experience. Ah, there is a proper beach too, called the Tbilisi Sea!
The old Soviet metro system makes getting around cheap and easy. Taxis are also not expensive, but the price has to be negotiated with the driver each time.
People are relaxed about photography and do not really mind being photographed. They are rather curious about tourists and often try striking conversations. Mostly in Russian, and the most common question is simply one word – “Otkuda?”, which means “Where from?”. It is like a quick test to see if we understand Russian. Once we answer, more questions follow. So a bit of Russian language helps a lot. This applies to the older generation, because many of young people speak English. People are very hospitable and invitations to sample food or drink vodka are very common, even in the morning!
The next street photography workshop in Georgia will be conducted in June 2020, details: https://www.maciejdakowicz.com/photography-workshops/