New Mziuri to Open in Tbilisi

From spring, Tbilisi will be added to by a new look social café in the heart of Mziuri Park, down off Chavchavadze Avenue in Vake, where everyone will be able to spend their spare time in a positive and friendly setting. The project New Mziuri has inspired many, from the government and private sector to ordinary citizens. The idea was inspired by well-known photographer Anna Goguadze, creator of the Sun Festival and winner of numerous important awards, among them the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for “Gender Equality Support in Georgia”. 
Georgia Today spoke to her about her timely new project.

Anna, at what phase is your project New Mziuri?

As you know, the first sponsor of the project is TBC Bank. Simultaneously, we are carrying out negotiations with various organizations and getting ready for the New Year. On December 13th, a new campaign ‘My Gift to Mziuri’ was launched on our Facebook page whereby we published a list of the equipment we need for our social café. Everyone is welcome to take part and support it. We hope many will get involved and make New Year gifts to Mziuri. For instance, in our café we will have random cups, spoons, and plates of those who donate them, so that even in one cup they will see themselves at our café.

What steps are most important towards fulfilling the plans of the project?

We think we have already got past the most vital phases to grab the interest and inspire the involvement of the public. Tbilisi City Hall made a positive resolution towards our project. I’m happy TBC Bank became our first financial supporter. What’s more essential now is to follow the plan in order to completely finance the project and start reconstruction works on the café by the end of February. We want to create a venue by spring that can serve as a place for everyone and at which a variety of entertainment and educational events can be held throughout the year. Mziuri has always had this potential. Our society really lacks these sorts of spaces. I believe that is the project proves sucessfully, we’ll be able to bring part Nodar Dumbadze’s dream Children’s Town to life.

Why is the public so supportive and sensitive towards the project?

Our society is constantly looking for leaders; those who work to resolve the problems the city faces. Society itself should be involved in the creation of a space where they plan to live. Nobody will come and do it for us (other than parks and greening). In any case, civil responsibility is essential. We build the city. Fortunately, many support our project. In the framework of social responsibility, I hope companies will take their share on board to help create the space Mziuri project aims for.

How do you envision your dream Mziuri?

Our dream Mziuri is well-groomed and green, boasting good infrastructure. This is a place in the center of the city where I can be far away from city noise, relax, have fun and spend a good time with friends, listen to tasteful music, see artworks of modern artists, attend different kinds of events – a place where everyone finds their own Mziuri regardless of their interests, field and capability. My dream Mziuri resembles that of my favorite writer Nodar Dumbadze.

Is there a mock-up of New Mziuri, if so, where can we see it?

We have started working on two visual models Tbilisi City Hall submitted to us. On December 20th we publicly showed how its amphitheater and café building will be after construction works.

Anna, who else is involved in the implementation of the project? The main team.
Together with my friends, we have held Sun Festival at Mziuri since 2006. Since establishing it, a group of volunteers have been working and most of them have become my close friends. The same principle works for New Mziuri. Everyone is eligible to work with us. At this moment, I’m working along with my friends, though new volunteers are coming.

According to the plan, when does the project end?

We would very much like to complete construction works by the end of March and let New Mziuri shine from April!

Meri Taliashvili

24 December 2015 19:28