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This Video Takes You Inside Tbilisi's Politically Charged Techno Rave Scene


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The promising future of the rave scene after last year’s police raids and protests

As our recent feature about a techno producer who makes music in a Georgian prison explained, Tbilisi, despite being one of the most-watched cities in club culture at the moment, is at a crux in its history. It’s simultaneously seen as a artistically and sexually free oasis and a dangerously authoritarian place to express oneself. The city’s community and the strength of the scene, however, make the tumultuous atmosphere all the more exciting, and it seems like the light is beginning to shine through the cracks in Tbilisi’s harsh exterior.

Now, a fascinating new video released by Resident Advisor explores this dichotomy (watch it above, click the link for the full feature).

The positive sense of hope in Tbilisi is put into words by Giorgi Kikonishvili and Mari Kurtanidze, two ravers and LGBT activists from the area. Giving intimate, personal accounts of what its like to live through this year’s turmoil, they represent a scene that can’t help but grow and be positive in the face of adversity. Watch a video of their stories above.

“This May, a drama played out in Tbilisi’s club scene that by now many people know by heart: the police raids on Bassiani and Café Gallery, the protests that followed, and the ensuing standoff in which the police kept Bassiani locked for weeks. RA’s 24/7 party took place just a month later, and while the subject of nightlife and politics in the Georgian capital had received plenty of coverage by then, we saw an opportunity to approach it from a more intimate angle: in personal narratives from people in the scene. Giorgi Kikonishvili and Mari Kurtanidze are two ravers and LGBT activists who grew up in Tbilisi. In these monologues, they reflect on the extraordinary role Tbilisi’s nightlife played in their lives.”

Watch more: Telekom Electronic Beats Poland went to Georgia to record a documentary about the local techno scene