Iori River Valley Artist Residency
Photographer Natela Grigalashvili is researching how the Iori River Valley landscape and its people interact, through its history, nature, and the contemporary issues that face local communities. In close collaboration with them and with SABUKO (Society for Nature Conservation) Grigalashvili is investigating the issues, challenges and opportunities like the degradation of pastures through over-grazing and the restoration of the floodplain gallery forests. With these dialogues as background, she is documenting the landscapes and people of the Iori Valley throughout the seasons.
Natela Grigalashvili’s residency will culminate in a video, audio and photographic exhibition which will tour cities in Georgia this summer. Her hope is to raise awareness of the beauty of the Iori and the ecological issues that the valley faces, while simultaneously revealing its interlinked cultural histories and the importance of restoration.
This project has been established through the Endangered Landscapes Artist Residencies and Arts Prize – a new collaboration between the Endangered Landscapes Programme and the CCI Arts, Science and Conservation Programme.
Born in Khashuri, Georgia, Natela Grigalashvili is a freelance documentary photographer based in Tbilisi. Her award winning photographic practice explores how nature and people affect each other, particularly how nature shapes communities. She works with photography to tell the stories of the remote rural communities in Georgia – their lives, traditions and the challenges they face on a daily basis.