Happy hostages

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2011

Our video team returned to the home of Tamaz Jalagania and Nana Imnadze in order to film their home before it is demolished. Because their home is too damaged to be repaired, and because it is in the historic district of Tbilisi, the government will build them a new home (which is very nice), and the government will pay their rent for the two years it will take to build a new home (also very nice). Moreover, the government is going to help them pack their household belongings (very, very nice). Since their home is a veritable museum, and since they won’t be unpacking for two years, we filmed in different rooms as Tamaz explained various photographs and other objects that stimulated special memories. He also explained how he was born in this house.

Copyright Susanna Melo, 2011

After a couple of hours, we had to go to another appointment. But we couldn’t. Tamaz and Nana wouldn’t let us leave unless we ate some fruit. We explained that we couldn’t, but they insisted. After playing this “game” for a while (yes, you must; no, we can’t), we agreed to eat a piece of fruit. Immediately more fruit arrived; then wine glasses; then wine; then a toast; and another toast; and another toast. That’s the way Georgian hospitality is. Lots of leisurely eating, talking, toasting, drinking, laughing. Before you know it, the day is gone. Fortunately, we escaped before dinnertime.

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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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