Tskaltubo Art Festival

Tskaltubo Art Festival 2016 • Tskaltubo • Georgia

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„Tskaltubo Art Festival“ is a transdisciplinary Art Festival. Initiated in 2013 by artasfoundation and the IDP Women’s Association of Tskaltubo* it takes place annually in Tskaltubo, Western Georgia.


Formerly a famous Soviet thermal resort, Tskaltubo nowadays hosts about 4'500 IDP (internally displaced persons) of Abkhaz origin. Many of them have been living under precarious conditions in the former sanatoriums for the past 25 years.


The festival is themed "Resort to Art" - in allusion to thinking of art as a way for spiritual survival and with the idea of transforming a former tourist resort into a cultural centre. The festival's vivid core is a two-week workshop phase where a major part of the festival’s programme is developed. These workshops are conducted by local and international artists in collaboration with local and regional art, music and dance initiatives. Within the workshops residents of Tskaltubo, especially young people, and artists share and exchange different artistic approaches and produce new works. 


The project’s main objectives are to facilitate artistic, cultural and personal exchange between residents of Tskaltubo and artists from Tbilisi and abroad; to create a platform for and with the IDP population of Tskaltubo in order to integrate them into future developments of the city as well as supporting artistic activities in the region, offside the capital of Tbilisi.

*IDP is the abbreviation for „internally displaced people“ und refers to persons, who are refugees in their own state.

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Tskaltubo Art Festival 2016

16. – 18.9. 2016

collaborative Workshops: 4.9. – 15.9. 2016


The festival program is developed in several workshops taking place prior to the festival in September. Artists from Switzerland, Germany and Georgia are collaborating with local art, dance and music initiatives from Tskaltubo and collectively produce new works. The process of production and exchange can be perceived as a durational performance which is opened up for sharing with the public in the three days of the festival program.


The workshop program encompasses amongst others a contemporary dance workshop by „Cie. Zeitsprung“ dancers Meret Schlegel and Kilian Haselbeck (Zurich); a cultural youth club, developed in collaboration of local young people and the Zurich based performance collective „neue Dringlichkeit“ and a folk music workshop with the local folklore youth band conducted by Swiss folk ensemble „Nidwalder Huismuisig“ (Lucerne).


The Archive Project

Titled “Sources” a part of the program this year is dedicated to a thematic focus: we invite to think about the notion of the archive. Tskaltubo has a rich history: on one hand as a famous spa resort and on the other hand as a place where questions of identity and belonging are very present. With a look into the formal and informal archives, collective and individual memories, museums and photo albums we like to invite us all to question our view of the past, to create a fertile confusion and to facilitate a diverse discourse about the future.

local project coordinator
Lali Grigolava 

project team Tskaltubo

Kristi Kutateladze, Marika Goderidze, Mamuka Chkhetiani, Marina Kvernadze, Avto Jibuti, Nano Managadze, Maia Nioradze, Nini Tsakhaia, Khatia Jishkariani, Marta Todua, Shorena Ketsbaia

artistic directors
Irine Jorjadze, Maja Leo

Refugee Women’s Union of Tskaltubo
Lali Grigolava

Culture and Management Lab
Tamara Janashia

SDC Cooperation office for the Southern Caucasus

Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia

Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation

Pro Helvetia