2015 / Tskaltubo (Georgia) – internal refugees

GEORGIA – In Tskaltubo with internal refugees

In the Summer 2015, invited by the Artasfoundation – The Swiss Foundation for Art in Regions of Conflict – Catherine Habasque, Meret Schlegel and Kilian Haselbeck gave workshops to all generations that ended up with a performance; first step on stage for many children – A responsability they will learn from and a pride that will make them grow.

Tskaltubo is a spa resort in west-central Georgia. It is the main town of the Tskaltubo Municipality of the Imereti province. It is famous for its radon-carbonate mineral springs, whose natural temperature of 33–35 °C (91–95 °F) enables the water to be used without preliminary heating.

Tskaltubo was especially popular in the Soviet era, attracting around 125,000 visitors a year. Bathhouse 9 features a frieze of Stalin and visitors can see the private pool where he bathed on his visits.

Currently the spa receives only some 700 visitors a year, and since 1993 many of the sanatorium complexes have been devoted to housing some 9000 refugees, primarily women and children, displaced from their homes by ethnic conflict in Abkhasia.

The Artasfoundation – http://www.artasfoundation.ch/en – organizes each summer an art festival in Tskaltubo that allows the population to meet and gives people the opportunity to try different art forms they wouldn’t have acceded.