CARDIOLOGY

06.2016


Cardiology focuses on IDPs from the Abkhazia War who are now scattered throughout Tbilisi, Georgia, and are still struggling to survive 25 years following the war sparked by the breakup of the U.S.S.R between Georgian and Abkhazian separatists. This conflict forced more than 250.000 people to leave their homes and only an estimated 60.000 have had the means to return. A large majority of the remaining IDPs are now left in Georgia, forced to settle in makeshift homes and abandoned buildings, with little to no government support, and near total anonymity within the international community. Within this project, we enter a former Cardiology Hospital, turned IDP settlement, where 43 families have come to call home. Culling money as a group to do construction, they have transformed surgical rooms into bedrooms, offices into kitchens. They have no idea who owns the hospital or for how long they will be allowed to stay, but they have formed as a community to survive their displacement. The housing is overrun with children, generations born into IDP status and unlikely to find the opportunity to grow out of their circumstance. A majority of the men are unemployed, working the occasional odd job, often in construction, to make ends meet and to support their families.

The UNHCR states that as of June 2017 we have an unprecedented 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide and 22.5 million refugees. Despite these overwhelming numbers, we have yet to determine an effective method for humanely protecting and providing for them and as soon as they are out of the public eye, they are left to survive on their own. These communities are deeply isolated and have disappeared into the fabric of our societies.