Vakho Khetaguri


Vakho Khetaguri was born in 1989 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
He is a freelance photographer and mainly focuses on exploration of Post-Soviet legacy in Georgia and all the social issues that are related to it.
In 2012 he attended the series of lectures at Guram Tsibakhashvili Photography School in Tbilisi and started a long-term project Life on the Rails in 2011.
Khetaguri currently lives and works in Georgia.


Life on the Rails

In the 20th century, during the soviet era, the Georgian railway was just a part of the whole soviet railway network and was perfectly developed.
Nowadays as the less expensive transport the Railway in Georgia is mostly socially precarious class’s transport. The different regions are related to the capital by railways. The most of the people in search of employment, come to Tbilisi by train. So the trains and railway stations have become the first shelters of those who hope to find a job for surviving.
The project Life on the Rails consists in a few chapters. One that focuses on the Tbilisi Railway Bypass. During the soviet period the railway route was constructed in the central area of Tbilisi; that means that freight and passenger trains transit through central Tbilisi. Thousands of people living along side of railways suffer of the precariousness of their living conditions. They face the life in a terrible environmental and social conditions.
Life on the Rails focuses on the social, economical and environmental changes that the construction of Tbilisi Railway Bypass might have on the Georgian capital’s inhabitants life.


Dige’s Paradise

Since the last decade of the 20th century, almost one third of the population of Georgia emigrated shortly after the collapse of USSR. Civil war, military conflicts of 90-th and hard social and economic situation had largely increased the number of immigrants. Almost every third family had at least one family member move abroad for work.

While Georgian citizens move abroad, citizens of other countries move to Georgia, taking advantage of a relatively liberal migration regime. Increasingly, Tbilisi-the capital of Georgia has become the host for citizens of China, India and Turkey as well as from several African Countries. Most of them came mainly to work as labour migrants.
Dige is from West African country Guinea. He is 31 years old. He arrived in Georgia since several unsuccessful attempts of searching better life in different countries.
He works in a central market as a warehouse worker. Rents a bed for sleeping the night, earns around 30 Georgian lari per day (equivalent of 15 euros) and regularly sends some savings to his family in Guinea.
Dige loves Georgia but is preparing to move to Europe hoping one day to get there. “Georgia is good country but Europe is paradise ” he believes.