Can you tell us about yourself?
Tinatin: I’m Tinatin Bregvadze, born on August 6, 1980 (probably that is why winter is so hard on me). I have a master’s in Geography and governance and in the last ten years, I’ve been occupied with educational projects. I regret two things in life: not having a sibling, and wasting so much time during my university years. From the first year, I started working as a geography teacher in my school, it was amazing! Now I have a husband and two kids, and if someone thinks that raising two boys isn’t one of the most respectful things, then I have nothing to talk with them about! I don’t have any significant talent, but I do have many interests, so I’m never bored.
What about your work?
Tinatin: Right now I’m the director of Levan Mikeladze Diplomatic Training and Research Institute. In every developed country schools for diplomats get a lot of attention. Unfortunately, in Georgia, there is no academy for diplomats. Georgia is a small country where democracy is still flourishing and the country is not strong in military forces nor does it have gas or petrol. What do we have? We have human resources which we have to strengthen as much as possible to overcome today’s challenges. The involvement of our partner countries is crucial in all of the different directions, such as economics, culture, politics, and so on. So, I think that the development of this institution should be one of our main priorities.
I like the fact that there is a huge growth opportunity. It gives me motivation. No day is the same, our daily lives include participation or creation and management of different intellectual, professional, and educational programs. On top of that, we communicate with people with 30 year-long experience in Georgia’s internal and external policy formation who directly participated in many crucial affairs. This is a big treasure and it can’t be lost. I’ll be happy only if I’ll be able to contribute to the development of this institution. But, until then there is much to do.
What’s your main priority?
Tinatin: I won’t be much original if I say that my main priority is trying to create the kind of environment where my kids are going to be happy. But, I think that a person in disharmony with themselves won’t be able to build such a place, so I always try to make every situation I’m in full of positive emotions and motifs for personal and intellectual growth. Identifying your weaknesses and mistakes has crucial importance for this because you can become better than what you were the day before only through admitting and working on your problems.
Family or career?
Tinatin: I think that it’s wrong to put all your energy, emotion or intellect in only one thing. Humans are multitasking creatures and it would be a mistake and a big loss if we give them only one purpose. Be it a man or a woman, I believe that a person can function in different directions simultaneously and effectively. But if somehow I’ll be in a situation with no other choice, then obviously family!
Describe how you perceive Tbilisi.
Tinatin: I think that reality is a given and in that sense, Tbilisi is the same for everyone. Your attitude towards this reality is another thing. For me, Tbilisi is a completely logical and natural result of its historical experience. Many-sided, very European, with a footprint of communism, civil war, fighting for survival, the desire for fast development noticeable in the increased amount of living spaces in unsuited places and so on… I’ll be upfront, Tbilisi has many ugly sides, but I think that it could not have been otherwise and so I take this reality as calmly as I can. I love Tbilisi a lot, I never wanted to live anywhere else. It has something unique with which most foreigners are very impressed. I think that partly it is because of the development dynamics of the city and the country itself, which is quite visible.
What do you like and don’t like about Tbilisi?
Tinatin: You see many different types of people in the streets for the last couple of years now which I very much like and think is the sign of people’s independence. Because of that, you can find various places for all of the different people.
I obviously don’t like this unending, thoughtless constructions. I think that this is the remnant of our previous logic and work ethics, where you assume that even if you do something wrong it won’t affect your life and that you can do something with very little knowledge and it will magically turn out right. I believe that we will get rid of this too because in the end no one will be able to escape the consequences and the way we take care of the city will definitely change.
You also have a radically different hobby from your work. What does photography bring in your life?
Tinatin: I always liked to remember moments in shots. At some point, I decided to take a course and I have to admit, I thought that by learning the techniques of photography I would become a better photographer. First time I attended the lesson the teacher told us: “None of you is going to be a good photographer. You’ll take pictures of landmarks and the sunset and you will be satisfied with that.” I was thinking to myself “what is he talking about? Start the lesson already.” I took the courses for two years and after every lesson, I was becoming more and more certain that what he told us was true. Photography is a really difficult profession where the technical side is probably a thousand times easier than the personal side. It requires an unimaginable amount of work and erudition to be able to bring forth an important matter through the composition of light, form, color, and people, or to create completely new concepts. This is real photography and people are able to do it only if they dedicate their whole lives to it.
Is Tbilisi prettier on film or in reality?
Tinatin: If you’re not trying to lie to yourself or others, then it’s the same on both. But, your mood has significant importance. My photography teacher used to tell me: “By looking at your pictures I know what mood you had while taking them.” He was right! Every picture describes our mood, our attitude towards the object, our intellect, fears, how bold we are, etc. In that sense, you can make Tbilisi or any other object be seen through many different perspectives.
Where does Georgia stand on the world map?
Tinatin: Georgia is a part of European civilization! Period!!
How do you imagine your country is going to be like after 10 or 20 years?
Tinatin: If they had asked me the same question 20 years ago in 1999 I wouldn’t have even imagined the opportunities and lifestyle we have now. Sometimes more rapid, sometimes filled with obstacles, but the process of progress became unstoppable. So, I think that in 20 years Georgia will be full of such positive changes that seem unimaginable now.
Translated by: Ana Mikatadze