Researching Common Territories


by Onur Ceritoglu

The summer school “Researching Common Territories” took place in the Marneuli region of Georgia, neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan, between September 5 and September 11, 2022. The empirical part of the program focused on the fieldwork that aimed to document everyday practices and commons within an intensive week. The school brought together participants of different nationalities with diverse backgrounds in journalism, architecture, filmmaking, and anthropology.

The base camp was in Tserakvi village. From there, daily excursions were made to the border villages (Sadakhlo, Shaumiani, and Shulaveri) and the city of Marneuli with the support of local mediators and mentors speaking the region’s languages. The groups primarily focused on common territories that currently function as public spaces: quiet streets, struggling bazaars, men- occupied tea houses, a forgotten library. Yet, they also encountered less frequented relics of the past, like abandoned factories.

During their field research, each group aimed to understand daily practices, often through the lens of food. Some visited the households of villagers to contact women and learn about their domestic life. The villagers welcomed them with great hospitality and showed them some of their traditional dishes. Witnessing multi- ethnic togetherness in the border region, the participants not only mapped the landmarks of the villages but also gathered stories about migration, regional politics, and traditional culture.

As a part of the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial 2022, the outcome of the summer school was presented at Praktika Café in Tbilisi. The event hosted the participants’ observations in different mediums: photo prints, documentary videos, poems, sketches, and research memoirs. This publication assembles these invaluable outcomes of the summer school in printed format to document and archive what was achieved in a short time.

Project team

Tinatin Gurgenidze (Organizer) Kirill Repin (Organizer)
Stefan Henkel (Organizer)
Onur Ceritoglu (Mentor, Curator & Publication Design)
Klaudia Kosicińska (Mentor) Misha Aslikian (Local coordinator) Roser Corella (Film)


Vani Aslikian, Lala Iskandarli, Saadat Agayeva, Corten Perez-Houis, Hermine Virabian, Natavan Alieva, Sopiko Rostiashvili, Ana Kvichidze, Ketevan Lapachi, Nutsa Lomsadze, Marie-Luise Schega, Maya Perusin Mysorekar, Juri Wasenmüller, Klara Böck, Catherine Steiner, Jan Chrzan, Katya Krat.