Art Festival in Chiatura

In the late 19th century, the Georgian poet Akaki Tsereteli found deposits of manganese in the area around Chiatura, which became the main industry for the town during the 20th century. It´s a history about hard work and terrible conditions in the mines, but also a history about the creation of an extensive system of cable cars. In the 50th, due to the hilly landscape with steep slopes, Stain ordered the creation of a cable car system for the workers to efficiently travel from the town to the mines. Today, the town is stuck in the past and small changes has been since the fall of the Soviet Union. Surrounded by beautiful nature, houses are slowly falling apart and emblems of Stalin does still exists in some of the cable car stations. The town is an example of the contrast between the dirty industries with its contribution to an extensive environmental degradation, and the creation of this environmental friendly infrastructure that some cities now are reinventing.

The festival was about a story where the past, the future and the present are put into question, a time machine that bring questions to the past to create another future. This makes me think about the green movement, a movement that also put the history into question and sees the historiography more as a mirror of the present than the past. It has always been necessary to deconstruct the myths of the history that legitimize certain power structures or dominant norms in the present. A great question for the green movement is what kind of examples in the past that can help us to build a more sustainable future, what kind of present power structures and norms that prevent us to start this process, and what new technical and social innovations that can help us. Is it the future that can help us to build a sustainable society, or can we learn more from the past? Why wait for the future when we already have solutions from the past, and why get stuck in the past when we have a future to save and learn from? To be able to spread our ideas, it would be helpful to create a green historiography, a history that can make a sustainable and equal future more familiar. However, the question is also how we can make that without the creation of just another myth? In any case, in this urgent situation, we could in an open-minded way learn to embrace all good examples, methods, stories, norms and ideas, irrespective of time, place or context.

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