Giorgi Shengelia, a freelance photographer, was born in 1984 in Tbilisi, Georgia. He began photographing in 2010. He studied Photojournalism at Marangoni school in Florence, Italy. In the same year he starts to shoot his long term project about Georgian illegal worker women in Italy (Four Rooms, 2012). In 2013 Shengelia returned to Georgia to focus on new long-term documentary projects.


Four Rooms

After the collapse of USSR and the brutal political, economical and social changes that followed, the disappearence of the communist regime in the early 90s, a large number of Georgians were forced to leave their country and families and go abroad in search of employment. The women were the first ones to leave, becoming illegal workers in different European countries, USA, Turkey, sending the savings to their families in Georgia.

Georgia is on the top of the list of the countries with most migrant illegal workers that left the country. From 5 milliom people living in Georgia during the last years of Soviet Period, 1.5 million left shortly after it collapsed. For most of the illegal worker women it has become impossoble to travel for many years, so they can't return to Georgia and visit their families.
Most of them remain prisoners of their situation abroad, but the money they earn is the only way for their families to survive. To save money, many worker women share one apartament and live together.

Four Rooms tells the story of Salome, Irina, Keti, Khatuna, Dali, Nazi, Lali, Eka, Nino - 9 women living in one of these apartaments in Florence, Italy.