Plural images present the book The Land of the Doukhobors with photographs of Natela Grigalashvili.
First female photojournalist in post-Soviet Georgia, Natela Grigalashvili, through her photographic work, demonstrates the unique value of Doukhobor culture and the risk of its demise.
Appearing three centuries ago in Russia, the Doukhobors formed a pacifist community which rejected the liturgy of the Church and opposed any civil government. Their history is thus made up of persecutions, deprivation of liberty and deportations. Despite the difficult conditions imposed on them, they remained faithful to their convictions: exiled from Crimea in Georgia, they founded several villages in the Jakhaveti region. But to escape reprisals, a significant part of the community chose to leave for Canada at the beginning of the 20th century, supported by Tolstoy and his followers.
Today, many elders fear that with them the history and culture of the Doukhobors will disappear.
The Doukhobors, or âfighters of the Spiritâ, believe in a divine revelation specific to each person, each man carrying within him a part of divinity.
âTo no longer depend on the religious teachings of the Bible, their doctrine is transmitted orally from generation to generation through the Living Book, a collection, in the heart and memory of each, of hymns and psalms. The best known of them, âBe devotedâ, illustrates their way of life of piety, courage, frugality, righteousness, humility, hope and faith. Carried by their will to live according to Christian teachings, they refuse any form of violence, renounce force as a means of combating evil, do not respect the obligations of conscription and destroy, if necessary, their weapons. They are ardent pacifists who also ban all cruelty to animals: they have become vegetarians and have given up alcohol and tobacco, which they consider harmful for well-being and spiritual development. “
Extract from the text of Damien Bouticourt
Natela Grigalashvili was born in Khashuri, Georgia. His childhood dream was to become a filmmaker, but photography turned out to be a medium more suited to his expectations. Introduced to photography in various studios, she established herself as a freelance photographer after several years. Since the 1990s, Natela Grigalashvili has regularly participated in various exhibitions and artistic projects. If her practice has long favored black and white, Natela Grigalashvili now uses digital cameras for color. His series and long-term artistic projects focus on history and bear witness to the development of his country.
Damien Bouticourt is a graduate of French literature and civilizations (DEA). He is currently director of the Maupetit bookstore and the CÃ´tÃ© Galerie photo gallery in Marseille. He is the initiator of Natela Grishgalashvili’s stay in Marseille through her exhibition presented two years ago in this gallery.
The Land of the Doukhobors
Photos of Natela Grigalashvili
Text by Damien Bouticourt
90 color photos
Bilingual French and English book
Format: 29 x 23.5 cm
Public rate: 30 â¬