On the Eastern boundary of Europe, a razor-wire fence is stretched across Georgia. It marks the territories cut off by the Russian occupation since 2008. Arbitrarily traced through the country, the boundary line has become a cause of constant violations of human rights and international law. Its creeping movement further into Georgia has taken lives and destroyed communities over the last decade. While the structure itself causes much harm, it hides away from the world’s view the inside of the occupied land, where, in an attempt to destroy the evidence of once resident population, 16 villages were completely erased from the landscape.
Born in a city now behind the occupation line, Irakli Sabekia has witnessed consequences of the occupation since the early nineties. In the project Voicing Borders, he spotlights the reality hidden behind the razor wire boundary. In a projection installation, the destruction of the villages is mapped and documented through satellite images. Juxtaposing the past and the present the interactive projection allows viewers to reveal the location and the structure of the destroyed villages by casting shadows on the projected image. The second part of the project targets the razor wire fence itself. Through a subversive transformation, the weapon of occupation becomes a tool for voicing an objection to it. Specially designed radio transmitter connects to the razor wire fence and uses it as an antenna. Through this antenna, broadcasting on a frequency of conventional radio receivers, it transmits a short message in Morse code. The message states the names of the disappeared villages and their geographic coordinates.
The project was awarded the Melkweg Prize'19 and Nominated for the STARTS Prize'20