Russian invasion in Ukraine, as well as decades of war and hostility towards Georgia, is exposing Russia’s problematic stance towards independent neighbouring states. Overwhelming number of Georgians agree that Russia poses a major challenge to our nation. Today, thousands of Russian soldiers and border guards are stationed in the Administrative Boundary Line in Samachablo. (South Ossetia) European Union Monitoring Mission estimates that approximately 40% of the total passable areas in the region has been fenced off, which is a result of Russia’s creeping occupation and aggressive borderization. Although there are no physical bullets being fired, we are in a war of ideologies and its wounds are deeply felt among the Georgian community, especially queer community, as Russian propaganda is often built on anti-queer attitudes.
Initially, we considered holding a show at the Administrative Boundary Line in Samachablo, or even at the Russian-Georgian ¨Friendship¨ Monument, which would have been ironic given the current state of affairs. However, we realized that we must combat differently and sometimes existence is a purest form of resistance. With this in mind, I embarked on creating a new menswear collection that celebrates bold, free, gender non-confirming, unapologetic characters who stand against oppressive forces.
Therefore, we have chosen to hold our 2023 show at the Tbilisi Sulfur Baths, a location of immense historical significance, where our ancestors would often come to express their love and affection amidst the warm, comforting steam and the scent of sulfur. By doing so, we hope to remind our community that love and freedom are worth fighting for, and that we must continue to resist oppressive attitudes and systems in all their forms.