The market in Eliava is a space, where you can find everything connected to machines, among other items. Championing the proletariat class, the Soviet Union greatly influenced Georgian handymen’s terminology, so even today workers there keep using Russian terms in their speech and shop signage. While walking in this area you will witness signboards full of Russian barbarisms, many written in Georgian letters. ‘’Eliava Terminology Guide’’ in collaboration with Nini Khuroshvili is an illustrated dictionary about car parts. It aims to encourage people to reconsider the implications of Russian words they still use on a daily basis. Our motivation for doing this project was to enhance the mood of the car mechanics who work in Tbilisi’s Eliava market by communicating with them about tangible and intangible dynamics within their work environment. We wanted to investigate the subtle yet powerful role language plays in shaping their identities. The market’s workers became the co-designers and co-authors of our dictionary. The graphic design of the ‘’Eliava Terminology Guide’’ was inspired by the mechanic’s drawings and the calligraphy on their shops’ signs.

The protest that never ends as a part of Discover Eliava. Curated by Lydia Matthews. Artisterium Tbilisi 2012.