10 September 2010

Old Lady

This old lady was sitting outside the Kashveti Church begging for money from people going into the church. I took this shot just after she got up off the small stool and laboriously clambered onto the wall. She looked exhausted by the effort.


Gunn said...

wow, this is a strong photo!!
We have a saying that you can tell what the state / country is like by the way the old people are treated...
Not everything is perfect in Norway either, but we don`t have any grandmothers who have to sit and beg for money.... I think I will remember your photo for a very long time!

olli said...

Hi Gunn. Glad you liked it - though 'liked' is probably the wrong word.

There are usually a few people around all of the churches holding their hand out. I know in the past they had problems with organised begging but I think a lot of them now are genuine.

There is a problem in Georgia with IDP's from the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia but I'm not sure how much this is a factor.

Kate said...

For some odd reason I can see your photo only on the portal. It is indeed a strong portrait. I visied Tbilisi in the '80's on an educational USSR trip, and loved it and its people. We had great fun talking to students in schools and families on the streets who "picked us up" and hosted us in their homes. I grieve at all the turmoil the subsequent years has brought to your city and country.

Jilly said...

What a face, Olli. This is the sort of photography I adore. Bravo! She does look exhausted. Love the face, makes you wonder about her life.

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olli said...

Hi Kate. Not sure what the problem is. I checked on every browser I have and it was working fine. I hope its okay now.

I think Tbilisi has probably gone backwards in the years since you were here. The chaos of the 90's really set the city and the country back and it's only in recent years that it has started to recover.

I'm not actually from Georgia - I'm a British/Irish expat who just moved here a few weeks ago - so I was quite surprised by how run down much of the city is.

There is a very long way to go but at least now things are moving in the right direction.

Thanks for stopping by.

olli said...

Hi Jilly. I was pleased with how this shot turned out. The problem is that people in Tbilisi are at all embarrassed about staring at strangers and looking like I do (classic North European white skin red hair blue eyes!) and carrying a DSLR I get stared at a lot. It makes it very tricky to get candid shots.

I had to use a long lens and then crop to get this picture but it was worth the effort. Of all the people outside the churches begging this woman had by far the strongest face.

As you say, it does make you wonder about her life story.

Thanks for stopping by.