Usually joyful and loving, Irakli didn’t smile even once during our photo session. He took our visit very seriously. We had met on an important day for him, earlier that morning Irakli had shaved his face for the first time ever. “I’ve grown up,” he told me several times.
He went on to tell me about when he was born, “the doctors said, ‘it’s a boy,’ and lifted me in their arms.” Birth, death, marriage, divorce, Irakli is at a stage when people think a lot about such things. He is very absorbed by it all, especially his birth and his first few days of life. He is fascinated by these moments of which he has no memory but has been told all about by other people.
After “It’s a boy,” his grandmothers took him in and loved him a lot. They still do and sometimes Irakli stays over at one of their houses. When he wakes up there the next morning, he always says the same thing to his Granny “Good morning, my love, my sweetie.” But instead of saying “sweetie,” he says “smeety,” so that’s why his Grannies call him “Smeety.”
He loves music, especially Bruce Springsteen. He can dance for hours to those songs.
“I am happy that I’ve grown up.” Irakli shaved his face, before that he had been born and the doctors said, “It’s a boy.” He knew that we were coming to visit him, and he also knew that he had to tell us something about himself. On this important day, he prepared his story and told it to us so many times that it became almost legendary.
Irakli loves guests and is a generous host. Mostly he loves everybody, people and animals too. Sometimes he stands in front of the monkeys’ cage at the zoo for hours, observing them closely.
Irakli is looking forward to the arrival of a new member of his family,
a puppy. He’s thinking about what the right name for his future pet
will be. He has three names to choose from, each one in honour of a
person he especially loves. He hasn’t quite chosen which breed he
is going to get, but I am convinced that the little puppy will be very
lucky to have someone so caring to be its new owner.
Photographer: Levan Kerkheulidze
Writer: Archil Kikodze
Project was produced within the framework of the Children Are Not Born with Prejudices project run by the Glada Hudik Theatre in Georgia with the support of the Swedish Institute.