Theory & Practice

Georgian Spring

A look at Georgia through the eyes of Magnum photographers

Magnum Photographers

Robert Capa A trolley car in the old quarter of Tiflis. Tiflis, Georgia. 1947. © Robert Capa © International Center of Photography | Magnum Photos
Henri Cartier-Bresson Monastery Alavardi (XIth Century). Visitors from the kolkhozes, celebrating Saint George. Kakheti, Telavi, Georgia. 1972. © Henri Cartier-Bresson | Magnum Photos
Jonas Bendiksen Locals and Russian tourists are drawn to the warm waters of the Black Sea. This unrecognized country, on a lush stretch of Black Sea coast, won its independence from the former Soviet republic of G (...)
Martine Franck Nino Gordeladze a painter with her daughter Ketevan Maissoia fashion designer. Tbilisi, Georgia. March 15 2009. © Martine Franck | Magnum Photos
Gueorgui Pinkhassov Abkhazia, Georgia. 2009. © Gueorgui Pinkhassov | Magnum Photos
Paolo Pellegrin A traditional Dukhabor house of prayer. Gorelovka, Georgia. 2009. © Paolo Pellegrin | Magnum Photos
Alex Majoli Meeting point. Karaleti, Georgia. 2009. © Alex Majoli | Magnum Photos
Thomas Dworzak Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (L) visits the United Nations with advisor Daniel Kunin. New York, USA. September 24, 2008. © Thomas Dworzak | Magnum Photos
Mark Power Casino. Rustavi, Georgia. March 21, 2009. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos

Georgian Spring is the travel journal of ten Magnum photographers who visited Georgia during spring 2009.

Situated on the eastern fringe of Europe, between Turkey and Russia, with a sophisticated culture that dates back to its settlement by the ancient Greeks, Georgia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. Its independence was restored in 1991, but this was followed by civil war and economic breakdown. In the 21st century, despite ongoing tensions with Russia, Georgia has mounted a spirited comeback, transforming itself into a modern European state at a remarkable pace.

At the invitation of Georgia’s Ministry of Culture, Magnum photographers Jonas Bendiksen, Antoine D’Agata, Thomas Dworzak, Martine Franck, Alex Majoli, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Mark Power and Alec Soth set out to describe the country, each pursuing their own theme and working in their own way, chronicling their journey in words as well as pictures. A 20-page chapter is devoted to each photographer’s work. The book also features a foreword by Dworzak, Magnum’s Tbilisi-based photographer; a timeline of Georgia’s history; an essay by Wendell Steavenson – who vividly renews her acquaintance with the country that she came to know while living there during the 1990s; and a chapter featuring the best of Magnum’s archive of photographs of Georgia – including Robert Capa’s 1947 photo-essay, made while visiting the Soviet Union with John Steinbeck. The book opens and closes with a series of postcards chosen in Georgia to reflect some of country’s iconic attractions.

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