Political Street Art in Georgia

Walking through the Georgian capital of Tbilisi in 2023, one is struck by the many European, Ukrainian and Georgian flags, all conveying a clear message. The war in Ukraine is condemned as terrorism, for which Putin is responsible. The desire for Georgia to join the EU is also expressed.

Ukrainische Fahne und Europaflagge an einer Hauswand von Tiflis / © Foto: Georg Berg
Ukrainian flag and European flag on a house wall of Tbilisi / © Photo: Georg Berg.

Many refugees from Russia, who make the scarce housing in Tbilisi even more expensive, can well understand this. But the messages don’t miss their mark on Russian tourists either, for whom good food and a relaxed lifestyle are traditionally associated with Georgia. Even exchange offices show “Glory to Ukraine” on their display instead of the ruble rate.

Eine Wechselstube in Tiflis zeigt nicht den Kurs des russischen Rubels an. Statt dessen "Slava Ukraini" / © Foto: Georg Berg
An exchange office in Tbilisi does not display the exchange rate of the Russian ruble. Instead, it displays “Slava Ukraini” / © Photo: Georg Berg

Political statements on house walls are striking. Simple statements have the greatest persuasive power. In their entirety, however, they convey an unfiltered mood. Monuments from the Soviet era, whose massive authoritarianism no longer meets with approval in a post-heroic society, are quite different. One example is the brutally monumental Chronicle of Georgia, for which one has to drive to the outskirts of the city.

Graffiti an einer Hauswand in Tiflis verurteilen Putin wegen Staatsterrorismus / © Foto: Georg Berg
Graffiti on a house wall in Tbilisi condemn Putin for state terrorism / © Photo: Georg Berg
Graffiti an einer Hauswand in Tiflis: Russians go to Hell / © Foto: Georg Berg
Graffiti on a house wall in Tbilisi: Russians go to Hell / © Photo: Georg Berg
Ukrinische und Georgische Flagge auf einer Hauswand in Tiflis: Never back to USSR / © Foto: Georg Berg
Ukrinian and Georgian flag on a house wall in Tbilisi: Never back to USSR / © Photo: Georg Berg

Wall up the despots

A subtle interpretation of the Georgian DreamThegoverning party of Georgia is called Georgian Dream: Wall up the despots. Maybe then everyone will have peace.

Straßenkunst in Tbilisi, Georgien. Donald Trump und Vladimir Putin spielen Schach und trinken dabei georgischen Wein / © Foto: Georg Berg
Street art in Tbilisi, Georgia. Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin play chess while drinking Georgian wine / © Photo: Georg Berg

In Georgia, people feel at the mercy of the march of time and the whims of politicians. While the parliamentary majority and the government of Georgia do not want to mess with the neighboring Russian Federation for pragmatic reasons, the population today supports its president, who sees Georgia better off in the Western alliance.

The report on a hike through Tusheti and Khevsuretia offers a lot of nature and insights into the hard life in the High Caucasus.

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