Georgia to See Issue N399PHOTO: GISELLA MINANTE 


The abandoned village Avenisi is located 70 kilometers from Tbilisi, in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. It is close to the historical borough Ananuri and is situated on the left bank of the Zhinvali reservoir. This territory is a reserve, abundant with natural and anthropogenic sights, and with landscapes that present some samples of distinguished beauty. 

The territory is deserted and practically uninhabited. The land parcel in question constitutes 2,800 sq. meters, with a two-storey wooden residential building containing 8 bedrooms, as well as a separate kitchen building, four wooden cottages which can be perfectly used as workshops, and a stable located nearby. 

A new project, named Art Ananuri, implies the proper arrangement of the land and the buildings so that a free creative space can be set up on the territory, which means creating an ideal place for artists to work, giving them the chance to make the most of their potential in the recreational zone. 

Within the scope of the project, emphasis will be laid upon visual arts, painting, video-art, sculpturing, performance art, environment art, landscape art, etc. One of the basic concepts of project is to give the XXI century’s creative humans some isolation from the technological industrial space of modernity in order for them to achieve full concentration on their perceptions and ideas, and be able to focus on the implementation of these ideas by taking advantage of inspiration coming from the energy and the location of this place. Despite the proximity to the capital of Georgia (Tbilisi) and Ananuri borough, the territory of future creative space is isolated from the common society, which perfectly reflects the idea of the project. 

The project presupposes long-term development: on seasonal basis, from April till October inclusive, Ananuri Art-Caravanserai will be ready to host both Georgian and foreign residents. Apart from the implementation of individual artists’ projects, Art Ananuri will be a place of cultural exchange, the exchange of experience, and as a result – the place where strong ties will be formed between different cultures, yielding positive and interesting consequences.

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The project will make significant social impact as it presupposes involving and employing some of the local population (Ananuri residents). The food for the Art Ananuri inhabitants will be fully supplied by the borough. 

The project Art Ananuri certainly implies the organization of annual cultural and educational events and festivals on a permanent basis, as well as close collaboration with Georgian and foreign artists, curators and numerous art circles. 

Several public schools are located in Ananuri and the surrounding settlements and so it is hoped the guest artists and lecturers will run workshops for local pupils. What’s more several art students will be offered free housing, food and work materials each year. 

Added to this is the fact that the open air territory of Art Ananuri could be used to host various expositions. 

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coortinative group Lia Gulua Alexander Leitner Eka Kartsivadze Elisabeth Penker 

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