what do we have in common?

curators: anna dobrova, victor gluschenko
The idea of the project has evolved during the first Tbilisi Architecture Biennial (TAB), which created the opportunity to gain deeper insight into Tbilisi’s urban landscape. Although the TAB has been intended as common platform, people, as well as cultural actors in Tbilisi mostly viewed it as the private festival and showed reluctance to actively engage in its activities. Together with reconceptualizing the idea of togetherness, the project we seek to transform the TAB from private to public occasion.

By questioning the common we would like to address several layers of urban space, such as internal and external, virtual and physical, as well as examine the emergence, development and consequences of common areas.

This issue attains a special importance in Georgia, where a painful change from planned to market economy brought a fundamental social and urban transition. Following the dramatic collapse of the socialist system in the 1990s, urban areas of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, were transformed into informal individualized and fragmented spaces, where the feeling of common space and society seems to be forgotten. The residents of Tbilisi struggle to understand the notions of private and public and undervalue common responsibilities. As a result, we often encounter troubling situations or cases of social conflict in the areas like common patios, staircases, roofs, streets, public parks, etc. The responsibility for the collective areas is lost, while the residents prefer to deny the existence of these spaces and use them for transition purposes alone. Against this background a major objective of the project is to promote discussions and understand the idea of “togetherness” in Tbilisi’s local context.

We live in the era of individualism and fragmented landscapes. However, everyday practices and encounters with different individuals, with whom we share the same urban environment, make us question the significance of what do we all actually have in common?

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