Elene Suramelashvili, We See One Sun: “Our Differences are not a Problem”

One light, one sun, one sun lighting everyone, is a song you may know from Raffi’s 1985 album. No doubt you will understand the truth of the lyrics. So do the organizers of the charity exhibition ‘We See One Sun: no matter our differences and mental or physical disabilities, we all see one Sun.’ 


On October 12, nine high school seniors united over the idea that “there is one Sun lighting everyone,” welcoming society at the Hotel Moxy at a charity exhibition-auction of artworks by patients of the Evidence-Based Practice Center. Read on to find out about the event from one of the organizers herself, Elene Suramelashvili.


Tell us about the event and the idea behind it.


The idea for this charity event came to me in the summer when I interned at the Evidence-Based Practice Center as I am going to get my degree in Psychology. I saw the artworks of patients at the Center and I was immediately amazed by them. I shared my emotions with a circle of friends. They found the pictures just as stunning. So then we thought why not let a wider audience know about the gifts of the Practice Center patients? That is how we came up with the idea of a charity auction.

Our charity event aimed to break the stereotypes that played the role of a barrier between people and mentally-ill members of society. We aimed to show the emotions and feelings of these individuals to the public. We all know that art reflects a person’s inner world the best. 


How did the idea turn into a project? 


It all began by asking the talented patients permission to exhibit and then sell their artworks at auction. The extremely professional group of doctors helped us greatly; communicating with the patients, forming and enlightening us with the rules so that the patients could stay anonymous. 

Our biggest challenge was finding a perfect place for our event. Networking helps you overcome everything – our friend helped us find and get in touch with hotel Moxy. As soon as that was taken care of, we only had small obstacles in front of us like spreading the information about the upcoming event. Our parents and friends, once again, played a big role there. We would like to thank the teams of GMT, Marriot, and Moxy as if it weren’t for their support, our event simply wouldn’t have passed the “idea stage”. Along with that, our school, the G. Zaldastanishvili American Academy in Tbilisi, showed us great help.


Who are the organizers of ‘We See One Sun’?


As none of us had much experience in the field, a team of nine school-students united and we planned the event intensively for two months. The nine members of our organizing team were: Elene Suramelashvili, Liza Ingorokva, Mariam Karazanishvili, Nini Shagidze, Keti Loladze, Elene Jishkariani, Sopho Pkhakadze, Sandro Kilasonia, and Mia Okruashvili. I gathered the paintings and communicated with the doctors; Sandro found the place for the auction; Mariam took care of the food and drinks; Elene took on social media management and spreading the news; Liza managed the transportation of the pictures and many other things; Sopho created the event logo; Keti stocked us up with technical tools, and Nini decorated the auction. Other than these nine team members, Nikoloz Bolkvadze who took care of the music for the night, playing his music throughout the event, and Zurab Ramishvili was the host of our auction, stunning everyone with his amazing oratorical talents. Our classmates who served drinks to the guests deserve an honorary mention as well. This kind of strong team-work made the event what it was, the high-quality of which, I hope, could be seen by everyone who attended. 


What was the result of your charity event?


The We See One Sun event raised 12,600 GEL. The money will be fully given to the Evidence-Based Practice Center, which in turn will give the money to the painters of the artworks that we sold. The amount we raised is quite pleasing. Society’s reaction to our charity event was very positive towards us and the talented patients. We are hopeful that we broke the stereotypes, or started breaking them at least, and we showed people that we all see one sun. On October 12, art united us all and we proved that our differences are not a problem.  



What is the next step of your charity event?


The Evidence-Based Practice Center is organizing the next and final step of our project. The “delivering ceremony” will take place this week and there, the center will distribute the raised money of 12,600 GEL among the creators of the sold paintings.


What are the plans of We See One Sun’s organizers?


In the near future, we’d like to organize such events again, but since we’re high-school seniors this year, our schedules are quite packed and we can hardly find the time. In the far future, we all plan to continue our studies abroad and as we get older and mature, we want to offer more events that answer the needs of our society.  



 By Nini Dakhundaridze




14 October 2019 17:51