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After some fun days in Ratcha, it was time to get back to Garikula to have more fun making work. Our first idea was to make a collaborative video and as we wanted to make something which is connected to the place we were in and the local people so we decided to record stories told to us by locals as a starting point. We were interested in how the local oral history would shape our experience and inform further ideas for the video.

We managed to find an interpreter: a law student Irina who also helped us with finding people interested in taking part (mostly retired teachers in their 80s) and later with translating the interviews for subtitles. The stories were mostly from the last 150 years, though we also heard some legends dating back to the 17th century.

Then all we had to do was find some things to film so we could illustrate and reinterpret the stories through our experience. And what could be better than a bout of Georgian wrestling? Yesterday saw a late night event pitting wrestlers from Akhalkalaki against those from nearby Akhaltsikhe (yes, there’s a village close-by to right Akhalkalaki with the same name as the town close to the wrong Akhalkalaki…see post #10) which gave us some great shots. The prize in the competition was a sheep and all competitors shared it and drinks afterwards. As the only foreign guests, we were presented with leftover trophes – locally made clay pots.

Meanwhile, Alicja was inspired by the large gardens at Art Villa Garikula, the abundance of fruit everywhere we went in Georgia and the country’s recent history to make an installation ‘The Best Things Happen Just Before the Fall’. It took 2 days, 550 metres of fishing line and over 150 pears to complete.