Florence Italy 2012
Dali and Dali. Teachers by profession, they left their families – children and husbands- hoping to finds a job abroad and send money to Georgia. Florence, Italy, 2012.
Khatuna, 40 is praying. She is working illegally during 8 months. She couldn’t return to Georgia even for the Wedding party of her girl. Florence, Italy, 2012
Lali is 62 years old. She arrived in Italy recently. She left her children and grandchildren in Georgia. Purpose to find job easily, she studies Italian. Florence, Italy, 2012.
Kathy, 28, is having her hair cut. She left her son in Georgia. Her parents are talking care of the child. Florence, Italy, 2012.
A few years are not enough to make a fortune and overcome the problems you have. The real life abroad is very different from the one that we see on TV. I often feel homesick. At times, you want to leave everything and return home, but you know how much your family needs your help.”Lali, Florence, Italy, 2012.
During winter only heated place in the rented apartment is kitchen. That is why most of the women spend long winter evenings in the kitchen. Florence, Italy, 2012
Every Friday, 9 month old Alexandre is left with the women for several hours. His mother, Natia, 29, moved to Florence from Tbilisi a year ago. She takes German language classes, to move to Germany hoping to find a job. Florence, Italy, 2012.
Due to the fact that they are illegal immigrants their freedom of movement is limited as they cannot leave the house. For days they have to stare at walls and dream of the day when they will finally be able to get back on their feet. Florence, Italy, 2012
“It is a big challenge to live abroad illegally. In the beginning you think you can get a job easily. You are trying to pay off your family debts, but you realize it isn’t easy. I just want to pay my debts and then return home,” says Eka, Florence, Italy, 2012.
The most important thing for these emigrants is the faith that one day their sacrifice and hard work will pay off, that they will finally be able to find jobs, feed their families and pay their debts. Florence, Italy, 2012.
It is 8 years Irina has been living in Florence. She hosts all the other migrant women in her flat and helps them to find employment. Florence, Italy 2012
Kathy is talking to her friend in Georgia. She hopes to get living visa in Italy. The procedures for Georgian citizens are much more complicated than for citizens from other countries. Florence, Italy 2012
Salome moved from Georgia two years ago leaving her three years old daughter with her parents. She dreams to study and get employed in Italy. Florence, Italy, 2012
After the collapse of USSR and the brutal political, economical and social changes that followed it, a large number of Georgians were forced to leave their country and families to go abroad in search of employment. The women were the first ones to leave. They were leaving to become illegal workers in different European countries, USA, Turkey. They were and still are working, are making savings and sending it to their families in Georgia. Georgia is on the top of the list of the countries with the number of migrant illegal workers that left the country. From 5 million people living in Georgia during the last years of Soviet Period, 1.5 million left shortly after it collapsed. For most of the illegal worker women it has become impossible to travel for many years, so they can't return to Georgia and visit their families. Most of them remain prisoners of their situation abroad, but the money they earn and send to the country is the only solution for their families to survive. To save the money many, illegal worker women share one apartment and live together. Project Four Rooms tells the story of Salome, Irina, Keti, Khatuna, Dali, Nazi, Lali, Eka, Nino - 9 women, all illegal workers living in one of these apartments in Florence, Italy.
Nazi is 53 years old. During ten years she could only twice in Georgia to visit his family and relatives, the waiting room, is the quietest room during the winter time, this room is used for communication with immigrants. Florence, Italy, 2012
Kathy is on the phone with a friend of hers in Georgia. She tried to speak to her friends everyday because she is homesick. Florence, Italy, 2012.
Dali smokes the last cigarette of the evening. Florence, Italy, 2012.