Caravan meeting in Tbilisi

Update <Culture>. Upgrade <Confidence>. Link <Communities>



7th – 10th April 2015 in Tbilisi, Georgia

The Caucasus Caravan meeting titled Update <Culture>. Upgrade <Confidence>. Link <Communities> is a networking meeting aimed at building connections, stimulating reflection and facilitating cooperation among artists and cultural producers in the regions of South Caucasus and South-Eastern Europe. It is organized in the frame of the Caucasus – Balkan Express project, which is initiated by the Alt Art Foundation and Balkan Express Network, project partners are Bouillon Group, Tbilisi, Public Art Platform, Tbilisi and ICA, Yerevan. The project consists of three parts – a Caravan meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, an artistic residency of four artists in Cluj in May 2015 with a final presentation/exhibition of their artistic works in public space in Cluj. In June the artists will adapt their works and present them in Yerevan and in Tbilisi. Caucasus – Balkan Express project is supported by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and Bosch Stiftung, The Romanian Cultural Institute and the Culture Programme of the European Union in the frame of the Create to Connect project.


The current global economic and political crisis has further deepened the social differences within societies and between countries. Both the Balkans and the South Caucasus are facing these challenges in their historically specific frame of an ever changing, discontinuous, disillusioned social context defined by transition from their respective versions of socialism to new „authentic” democracies and market economies, ethnic conflicts and constant crises.

Culture – by its capacity to generate reflection, to construct and deconstruct meaning – has always acted as a facilitator of social processes, but cross-cultural translation can offer more: through comparison, emulation, osmosis, cross-fertilisation or contamination it can generate new, hybrid models of emancipatory practices, praxis in ephemeral or resilient solidarity networks.

Artists have always been good at this. Dealing with changing contexts and limited resources, the artistic sectors in these regions proved to have a great potential not only questioning existing models of social production but also in proposing and experimenting with new models of resilient and sustainable living. In order to add up into critical mass and make a scalable social difference these experiments need to shift in time and space – hence the idea of the Caucasus-Balkan Express Caravan.


Following the model of the Balkan Express meetings organized for the last years in different cities in South-Eastern Europe (Cluj, Mostar, Maribor, Kotor, Sofia …), a group of independent cultural operators from South-Eastern Europe and South Caucasus visit Tbilisi for a few intensive networking days. The caravan involves cultural actors that act across sectors and tackle in a responsible and participatory manner issues that are relevant for the contemporary society.The programme of the event includes meetings with local artists, public presentations, performances, and discussions on the topics of art and public space, socially engaged artistic practices, cultural policies, and international cooperation.


Update <Culture> is our intention to connect and discover the each other‘s artistic universe. Our focus on socially engaged art is our commitment to Upgrade <Confidence>. Aiming to share knowledge and resources by working together is how we strive to Link <Communities>.


Update <Culture>. Upgrade <Confidence>. Link <Communities>

April 7, Tuesday

Arrival of the guests

14.00 Informal lunch (starting from the Old Key Hotel)


17.00 – 20.00 Welcome & introduction @ Gallery Nectar Performance Basement
Presentation of the programme by Rarita Zbranca, Tamara Bracic Vidmar, Lali Pertenava
Introduction of the participants
Welcome drinks & light dinner

20.00 Performance by Nikoloz Humanoidi / Gallery Nectar

April 8, Wednesday

10.00 – 11.00 Introduction session – Why socially engaged art? @The Old Key Hotel lounge

11.30 – 13.00 Walking tour: Red Terror Topography Tour


13.00 – 14.30 Lunch

14.30 – 16.30 Visit @CCA Tbilisi, Focus on visual art practices in the region
Centre for Contemporary Arts Tbilisi: presentation on Tbilisi Triennial by Wato Urushadze

18.00-20.00 Panel discussion: Socially Engaged Art and the Public Sphere @Frontline Club (public event)


Session 1 (40 minutes) Artists as activists: voices from Tbilisi
Mariam Bakradze (architect), Students green movement: Green Fist – Mariam Gurgenidze, Salome Chanturidze

Session 2 ( 60 minutes) Art in public space: Nini Falavandishvili (curator), Istvan Szakats (artist/curator, AltArt), Harutyun Alpetyan (artist, YCA Yerevan)

Moderated by Lali Pertenava

20.00 Dinner or Theatre performance

9 April, Thursday


10.00 – 11.30 Focus on performing arts practices in the region @Frontline Club
Bullion Group presentation
Artist Talk with Nadia Tsulukidze, performance artist

11.45 – 13.30 NETWorking session @Frontline Club

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch break

14.30 – 16.00 Film & discussion @Frontline Club (public event)
Energy crisis art by Teona Jafaridze

16.00 – 20.00 Visit Shindisi Field Academy outside of Tbilisi
Presentation by Mamuka Jafaridze


20.00 Rezo Kiknadze music performance or Puppet Theatre performance

10 April, Friday

10.00 – 14.30 Visit @Rustavi
Rustavi Residency, Tetsi Group and Georgian Video Art Archive
Presentation by Lekso Soselia


15.00 – 16.00 NETWorking session @Old Key Hotel Lounge

20.00 Dinner & Goodbye party

The project is initiated by the Alt Art Foundation, Cluj and Balkan Express Network, Ljubljana, project partners are Public Art Platform and Bouillon Group, Tbilisi, and ICA, Yerevan. With the financial support of the Black Sea Trust – A Project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Local organizer: Public Art Platform, Tbilisi,


Tamara Bračič Vidmar, Balkan Express Network & Bunker Ljubljana,

Rarita Zbranca, AltArt Foundation,

With the kind support of: Frontline Georgia Club, Gallery Nectar Tbilisi and EEPAP Network. With the financial support of: Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation and the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Print-out programme: Tbilisi Programme 7 – 10 April 2015

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