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Paata Sabelashvili

Paata Sabelashvili

area: Art, Activism

Bringing activism to the dance floor. Meeting on drug policy and harm reduction by White Noise Movement at Bassiani 02.05.2017

Concept for "Please, do not pee here" campaign targeting Georgian police urine drug testing facility.

Photo from the protest rally for the human rights day with banner "We count the seconds" 10.12.2017 Tbilisi Georgia

Protest rally to support two artists that were put to jail after planting drugs ion them. 10.06.2017 Banner: End war on people.

Photo from the protest rally for the human rights day with banner "We count the seconds" 10.12.2017 Tbilisi Georgia

Protest rally to support two artists that were put to jail after planting drugs ion them. 10.06.2017 Banner: End war on people.

Key Facts

nationality

Georgia

area

Art, Activism

residence

Tallinn

recommending institution

frei_raum Q21 exhibition space

time period

April 2019 - April 2019

Campaign maker and movement builder. I have extensively seeked and used artistic methods during campagining on issues such as IGLTBIQ human rights, rights of displaced persons, rights of people who use drugs, poeple who live with HIV, access to treatment of Hepatitis C etc.

During these campaigns, dancefloor was selected as main ground for mobilizing people who were escaping their respective problems. Dancefloor also presented a common ground for many who faced injustice, violence from their familites, police or in the streets, literally all oppressed communities. Before we brought activism to the dance floor where people felt more safe, understood, not judged and empowered, it laways prooved problematic to mobilize critical number of people around civil rights causes. There was major apathy about activism and possibility to change something. By brigning closer to each other these fields, we have created a powerful movement called White Noise Movement and made activism something that every person wanted to do in Georgia.

Society and media had prejudices toward drug use and fight for rights and dignity of people was believed to be propaganda. We had a challnege to empower community and at the same time have support from media outlets. Through various media we created a powerful aesthethic image of the movement which media had no choice not to cover properly, free of prejudices. 

The culmination of this process was when police has raided clubs in May 2018 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Police has presented operation as the almost state security issue, a crack down on ilegal drug transactions. Young people and dancers were presented as drug dealers that had to do nothing with human dignity and human rights. This was when police has arrested management of the club and leaders of the movement and crowd had to self origanize. This was exactly when dance was proposed as the new and main medium for peaceful protest communication. It was decided not to use verbal protest but to go superverbal. This was the two day rave action that we called a RAVEolution that attracted crowd over 10 000 people that could be part of big public rave, freee of charge for everyone who wanted to support.

 

© Aleksander Kelpman

Project info

As the next stage of our activism, we see the environmental conscousness of our movement. We cannot afford fighting for human rights and simultaneously wasting plastic and other problematic materials. We cannot be committed to stopping climate change, the phenomenon greatly disregarded by same people and powers who have less respect to human righs, and at the same time use access eneregy on sound and light equipment even for powering up these movements.

Along with our human rights agenda, we would like to involve dancers in awaraness and practical activities on how to make rave more environmentally friendly activity. For this, cooperation between Bassiani club and Caucasian Environmental NGO Network (CENN) has already commenced in Janurary 2019. Agreement involve club and dancers in sorting waste is already in place.
This collaboration has 2 main objectives: 1. Awareness raising on environmental issues, more particularly sustainable energy consumption, among people who participate in this scene; 2. Gradual replacement of external resources for running club - making it first partially, and eventually - fully autonomous, kinetic (renewable) energy producer venue.

We would like to conduct experiment with the energy generatign floor in the exhibition space of Museums Quartier Vienna, freiraum q21. The floor would be installed as part of the exhibition Dance of Urgency. It will be possible to showcase how dancers movents can contribute to making dance floor a powerhouse and viewrs of exibition can be part of this experiment.

This experiment also aims at raising attention of potential players globally to come together for implementation of pilot project in Bassiani dance floor.

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