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Matinee: Ian McNaught Davis' 'Georgian Moments' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

31 March 2018

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 143rd in our series of Saturday matinees today: Ian McNaught Davis' Georgian Moments.

Ian McNaught Davis is a South African freelance photojournalist based in Tbilisi, Georgia. "Based" doesn't quite describe it, though.

On his blog he writes:

Photography hinges on sacrifice: You cannot alter time without negotiating with light. It's the same with following your creative urges. You cannot do this without feeling alone, straining relationships and drifting from friendships. You'll compromise on accommodation and you'll forgo foods that aren't tinned pilchards.

His sacrifice includes living in a 1.8 lb. bundle of plastic that passes for tent and eschewing a laptop in favor of deleting his misses from his memory cards each evening.

His subject? Georgia, the former Soviet republic in the Caucuses Mountains. Specifically what it means to live in Georgia these days.

"Paradoxes and contradictions abound as secular attitudes collide with the dogma of the Orthodox Christian Church, and city-dwellers must negotiate their paternalistic family loyalties and traditions rooted in the countryside and villages," he writes about

And, if you pay close attention to the sequence of images, you'll see the contradictions play out. Davis has put them one after another in series of fascinating images we found quite moving.

Don't let that distract you from the beauty of these shots, though.

They almost go by too fast to appreciate. And Davis seems to prefer portrait orientation over landscape so the video format shrinks his best shots. But pay attention and you'll be rewarded.

"I like Georgia because of her mysterious beauty, but I love her because of her madness," he writes.

Madness indeed. But beauty beyond madness.


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