"If I hadn’t been an actress, what else would I have been…?” Sesili is thoughtful, “perhaps a photographer, I would take pictures of flowers.”
However, Sesili is an actress and she lives for it. She refused to stay in her hometown, Zugdidi, because it didn’t have a theatre. In Tbilisi she is busy working at two theatres. She tells me they are her whole life.
Sesili has a phenomenal memory. Not only can she remember her own parts, but she is also able to be a prompt for her fellow actors as she knows all the dialogue by heart. She celebrates her birthday in the theatre - that’s why she loves winter most of all the seasons in the year. She was born in February and for her last birthday, the singer, Anri Jokhadze, brought a huge bunch of flowers to the theatre for her. It was the most memorable birthday ever.
Sesili’s father told me that although society’s attitudes to people with special needs are far from ideal, it is much better now than it used to be, when disabled people were regarded as if they were plague victims. Centres which were supposed to be inclusive would look for relatively ’easy’ children. It had been difficult to find a school for Sesili. They were lucky in the end, Sesili had a fantastic teacher. By the time she was fourteen, she had managed to get into a specialist theatre company and her life changed completely.
Two years ago, she went on tour to China. She went to the Great Wall and the Imperial Palace. She took loads of photos. It was an unforgettable journey.
Last year she experienced grief. Her best friend died after a heart operation. Sesili wrote her a long letter, saying she was sure that her friend was well in the light and joy of wherever she was.
“I am usually a positive person,” Secili tells me, “I only cry when I am
abused or lied to.."
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.