WiP: Writing an Architecture Guide for a City in Flux

CRRC, ARISC and American Councils are proud to present the 20th talk of the Spring/Summer 2019 Works-in-Progress Series!

“What Happened to that Building? Writing an Architecture Guide for a City in Flux”

Angela Wheeler, Harvard University, and Vladimer Shioshvili, freelance photographer

Date: July 17, 2019, at 18:30 pm
Venue: CRRC Georgia, 5 Chkhikvadze Str. (Former 5 Chavchavadze ave.), I floor.

Invariably described as a city at the crossroads of East and West, Tbilisi has been razed and rebuilt by nearly every historical empire in the region: Byzantine, Abbasid, Seljuk, Mongol, Ottoman, Safavid, Qajar, Russian—and, most lately, by hordes of investors and trend-seekers. Despite its reputation as an ancient Silk Road trading post, however, the average building in Old Tbilisi is no older than those found in the historic districts of Boston or Philadelphia. Angela Wheeler (author) and Vladimer Shioshvili (photographer) will discuss the process of creating the first comprehensive English-language architectural history guide to Tbilisi since the Soviet period and answer questions about the complex and often surprising history of the city’s architecture.

Angela Wheeler is a third-year PhD student of architecture and urban history at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Her research examines the development of architectural preservation discourses and practices that emerged across the Iron Curtain in the postwar period. She has worked in Tbilisi since 2009.

Vladimer Shioshvili is a Georgian-American photographer who documents street art and urban transformations in Tbilisi. His work has been published online and in print in Tank magazine, the Guardian, retrograd.co.uk, and the calvertjournal.com.

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W-i-P is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that takes place at the CRRC office at 5 Chkhikvadze Str. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public. The purpose of the W-i-P series is to provide support and productive criticism to those researching and developing academic projects pertaining the Caucasus region.

PRIVACY POLICY: In order to assure the free and open discussion of ideas and sensitive issues, unless otherwise specified the WiP series holds to the Chatham House Rule: participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed, without the explicit permission of said speaker(s) or participant(s) in the press or other public media. Journalists may attend the sessions, but the contents are not for publication or broadcast without the explicit permission of the speaker(s). This is to enable all involved to openly discuss their views in private while allowing the topic and nature of the debate to be made public and contribute to the broader scholarly and academic conversation.