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Photo exhibition: Ageing in Georgia seen through the eyes of its older citizens

Photo exhibition: Ageing in Georgia seen through the eyes of its older citizens

‘Take care of time’, advises Natela Zhghenti, from Kobuleti in Georgia. At 77 she has seen a great many events come and go, both historical and personal. Together with 42 other Georgian pensioners she participated in an essay contest about what it’s like to age in Georgia earlier this year. The contest was organized jointly by UNECE and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office. Georgia’s older citizens were invited to send in their personal essays that should also provide lessons for the younger generation and for policy-makers. The ten best contributions received an award of 50 lari, a sizable sum, given that the pension is 150 lari per month (about 80 CHF). Participants in the contest came from all over the country to attend the award ceremony in the UN House in Tbilisi in July 2014.

To see the characters behind these stories, award-winning Georgian photographer Mzia Lekveishvili visited them in their homes. Her photos show people who are happy and sad, thoughtful and energetic, all of them embracing their lives, as a part of families, communities, workplaces and civil organizations. A selection of the portraits will be on display at an exhibition in the Passerelle between 10 and 28 November 2014. They provide a snapshot of the realities of older people in Georgia. The pictures and stories are as diverse as Georgia itself.

Everyone is cordially invited to attend the vernissage on 21 November at 12.30 pm on the E-Building side of the Passerelle. It will be jointly organized with the Permanent mission of Georgia who will kindly provide some sampling of Georgian wine.

The essay contest took place on the side of a project to prepare a Road Map for Mainstreaming Ageing in Georgia, providing an evaluation of the ageing-related policy and practice alongside a set of recommendations. The Road Map will be presented at the 7th meeting of the Working Group on Ageing which will take place on 20-21 November 2014 in conference room VIII at the Palais des Nations. 

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