On July 1, CENN, in collaboration with the National Wildlife Agency, hosted an evening dedicated to the memory of renowned Georgian poet and environmental activist Nugzar Zazanashvili in Krtsanisi Forest Park.
The event, entitled ‘Georgian-Austrian Literary-Ecological Parallels’ saw an exciting excursion for the participants along the exhibition route of famous Austrian artist and environmentalist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, whose artistic visions and creative works had much in common with the well-known Georgian poet.
The evening was hosted by CENN representatives Rezo Getiashvili and Levan Sebiskveradze, WWF’s Nino Peradze, Human Rights Center representative Aleko Tskitishvili, and numerous writers and environmentalists.
The attendees, including family members, friends and colleagues of Nugzar Zazanashvili, writers and environmentalists, and representatives of the younger generation, enjoyed walking on a trail arranged in a unique natural, fresh, and cozy environment, while viewing the amazingly beautiful and deeply meaningful works of the Austrian environmental artist.
Hundertwasser’s ecological practice focused on the idea of restoring nature’s rights through tree planting and greening activities (foresting roofs, tree tenants), the restoration of natural cycles, the protection of water, and the fight for a waste-free society.
‘The guests of nature’ (as the exhibition is called) had an opportunity to experience the world of the Austrian artist, learn about his experience and ecological vision, and to discover parallels with the creative works of Nugzar Zazanashvili. Notably, the key theme of the both artists’ works is a close connection with nature, once again reminding us that we all are the guests of nature in this world and emphasizing the importance of showing respect to and care for our host.
In the authentic flora and fauna, surrounded by the biodiversity of Krtsanisi, guests were once again reminded that the beauty of the environment needs to be protected.
After enjoying the paintings of Hundertwasser and getting acquainted with his environmental ideas, the guests gathered in Krtsanisi Park remembered the life and work of Nugzar Zazanashvili with special warmth and emotions.
As part of the event, his family members, colleagues, teachers, and friends read poems from his very last collection “It will go, It will go, It will go ,” published by ‘Intellect,’ which once again reminded the audience about his special attitude toward nature.
The evening was also attended by Papuna Kapanadze, the representative of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Head of the Protected Areas and Forest Policy Division of Biodiversity and Forest Department, who announced yet another important initiative to immortalize the memory and contribution of Nugzar Zazanashvili. In particular, he said, in the Kakheti region, in the vicinity of the Eldari Lowland, a protected area named after Zazanashvili will be established. The protected area is spread over 13,000 hectares of land, which is home to up to 170 goitered gazelle. Notably, the Ministry in cooperation with WWF is developing a special project for their restoration and breeding. Zazanashvili, as an environmental activist, devoted a lot of effort and energy to this issue in his lifetime and significantly contributed to the launch of such a process, hence the dedication of the protected area naming.
Poet, essayist and ecologist Nugzar Zazanashvili passed away in May 2021. He is the author of 5 collections. His poems were first published in 1981.
Recalling stories and memories related to this amazingly talented and at the same time humble and simple person turned out to be especially emotional for each participant of the event.
Nugzar’s daughter, Keti Zazanashvili, addressed the guests, thanking CENN and the World Wildlife Fund for organizing the event. She recalled more personal and unknown details of her father, characterizing him as not only great artist and poet, but also a kind and warm-hearted person.
“Now I see that immortality is possible, while so many people love, respect and remember him, my father will not go anywhere: he and his works will stay with us,” she noted.
Nugzar Zazanashvili is also the author of numerous publicist and popular publications dedicated to nature protection.
Graduated from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Geography and Geology, he majored in Physical Geography. He worked with the WWF Caucasus Program from the early 1990s and was one of the heads of the WWF programs. Through his coordination and direct participation, a number of important projects were implemented, including the development of protected areas.
Nugzar Zazanashvili ‘s scientific interest was the conservation and sustainable use of the Caucasus’ biodiversity, protected areas, landscape studies, landscape ecology, biogeography, vegetation ecology and cartography.
He was an associate professor at Ilia State University.
Those interested in seeing the exhibition in Krtsanisi Forest Park can visit it until July 8. Every Monday and Thursday. Along with an exhibition, various thematic events are regularly organized in the park.
The Hundertwasser exhibition in Krtsanisi Park was opened on June 5, World Environment Day, by the Austrian Embassy, the Austrian Development Cooperation, the National Wildlife Agency and CENN. The exhibition presents the artist’s idea of spiral continuity, which you will discover in nonlinear, wavy, and circular shapes. The open-air exhibition marks both World Environment Day and the long-standing partnership between Austria and Georgia. The exhibition not only presents the work of Hundertwasser but also presents joint projects of Austria and local partner organizations.
By Ana Dumbadze