Batumi Art-House ARGANI (BAHA)

Batumi Art-House ARGANI (BAHA) was established in 2006 in Batumi.

The major goals of organization:

  • Popularization of modern art and culture in Georgia.
  • Assistance and support of young Georgian film directors, musicians, painters, actors etc.
  • Promotion of traditional and modern Georgian Art on an international level.
  • Development of cultural cooperation with other countries.
  • Organization of film festivals and Art events in different spheres.
  • Educational activities in different spheres of Art – trainings, master-classes workshops and seminars for capacity building and professional skills development.

BAHA is developing various projects focusing on art/culture sphere, which included in past – “Art in Residency”, Capacity Development project for BAHA and local artists, Film school project for several years, Georgian film program at international festivals – Torun & ZUBROFKA festivals (Poland), Schwerin (Germany), Chicago (USA), Film screening with invited speakers etc.

BIAFF (Batumi International Art-house Film Festival) is major project for BAHA. It was stated in 2006. The mission of BIAFF Film Festival – to be an international event designed to enhance cultural exchange, understanding, and collaboration in film sphere. The event provides an opportunity for film makers, producers and film critics to meet and share their expertise and works with colleagues and also gives local cinema lovers opportunity to see new art-house films in cinema.

BIAFF festival creates platform for various activities for skills development and education in film sector. Beside the interesting film program, festival has various master classes, workshops, training etc. BIAFF has developed industry platform “ALTERNATIVE WAVE”, the major goal of which is to facilitate the development of the low budget feature film projects with the support of international film industry experts, who arrange the workshops on – script, presentations, funding strategy, film production, distribution and marketing strategy.



Tel: +995 599 482181




Kateryna Kostrova

DJ, Producer, Artist at Burning Woman.

She comes from Donetsk and lived in Mariupol and is a part of big family of platform TU, so we were thinking of exploring the post-industrial context between Mariupol and Gdansk.

Giorgi Gogiberidze

Painter, director, photographer and screen writer Giorgi Gogiberidze was born on the 31st of August 1974 in Batumi. He studied painting and design at Fine Art Institute. Later graduated from the University of Art, faculty of film and television directing.  He worked as specialist of art at the Ministry of Culture, as lecturer of film directing and producing at the University of Art (2015-2018). In 200, Giorgi founded Batumi International Art-House Film Festival and is holding position of Director till present. Since 2014, he is an author of  TV program “White Quadrat”  dedicated to cinematography and acts as program director and speaker of program. Giorgi is a member of Georgian Film Academy.  His filmography includes up to 20 promo videos (including BIAFF film festival promos) and several short films.

Giorgi is also active in photography. He has photo exhibitions both in Georgia, Ukraine and  Europe.

Irakli Dznealdze

Irakli Dzneladze was born on November 11, 1986, in Batumi, Georgia. After finishing the local theological gymnasium, he entered Rerich School of Arts, Fine art faculty in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. It was a place, where he had been interested in photography and journalism for the first time. Irakli’s got profession of artist-restorer and returned to Batumi in 2004. He had been studying journalism at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University for 4 years. Since then photography became an integral part of his life. In 2012-2013 participated in the program Eurodyssee in Paris. For the one year, he had been working in the sphere of documentary photography. Irakli had seven personal exhibitions and more than 20 group exhibitions (Georgia, Europe, USA). He is the author of the projects: “Historical photo: inhabitants of Batumi”, “The Door”. Also, Irakli Dzneladze is the Artists’ Club F/11 founder in Georgia. One of the founders and manager of the Contemporary art space Batumi – 2014-2019. Since 2014 he co-organized Photo-festival Batumi Photo Days.


CONNECTING GEORGIA to Memory of Water Partnership (MCON)

Partners: Intercult and BAHA

National context / challenge

Batumi in Georgia is a fast developing city on the Black Sea coast. During last decades there was a tendency of smashing part of old heritage to invest in constructing apartment buildings, mainly targeting foreign customers (Russia, Turkey, Ukraine).

Batumi has been a development model (modern architecture) in the region – as fast growing tourist centre, but there are hesitations about it. That will be a subject to discuss at the City Lab – is there in fact a model, or a copy-paste, how much the architecture is actually modern and could become a heritage, where is Batumi city community and their culture in that transformation ? There is not left any shipyard or old factory building. Such factories were destroyed a long time ago and seaside area is quite heavily used for tourism purposes – boulevard, hotels / apartment buildings etc. The Sea port is not much active since there are not many cruise ships (several per year). The important issue of city planning is mainly the Old Town (includes part of the seaside too) – which currently still is maintained (regardless to several undesired interventions by investors etc.) and local population considers it as essential part of city’s identity.

The city’s cultural heritage, especially in the Old Town, is suffering from results of “development”, taking into account only the interests of developers, slowly destroying the history and the memories with no plans on preserving history. Some buildings are gone and some still under risk , but due to some active citizen groups still guarded. This is tough and vital issue for BATUMI, to embrace urban development and find tools for safeguarding history. This discource is ongoing in partner cities of MOW, especially in Gdansk with the discourse about post industrial area of Young City, Port Stockholm and Port Gothenburg are examples of rapid urban transformation with lost heritage as result.

Common challenge with Baltic Sea Region

The awareness that cultural cooperation in the BSR is vital to eradicate the obstacles that hamper the sustainable development of the region. The first urgent topic we address is the identification of shared best practices to safeguard and use efficiently such resources in the as post-industrial cultural heritage. The common challenge is finding a sustainable approach to urban regeneration of post-industrial waterfront areas, with due respect to cultural heritage (incl. post-industrial one), avoidance of break-away (and often corrupt) commercial development, respect to fragile seafront ecosystems (often neglected in previous industrial developments), and democratic

By international presence in Georgia MCON can show examples, strengthen the local democratic participation and be helpful in inviting local stakeholders of Batumi to an international dialogue on the challenges of city development. Linking experiences of BSR ( Gdansk, Stockholm, Gothenburg ) with those of Black Sea Region, learning from practices, trying to jointly find solutions on regeneration of seafront post-industrial areas.

Relevance of including third country to MOW

We believe that the best way to face common challenges is through collaboration. Our proposal is that several institutions and organisations from the civil society and public governance in the BSR/EP/EU shall come together in different locations and using methodology of City Lab discuss “How do we build our urban structures, in a cultural context of post-industrial cultural heritage and how can we reimagine cities, in order to achieve long-term sustainability – culturally, socially, economically and environmentally”. Comparative dialogue with Batumi will add a new city dimension to MOW. In Batumi it will address the above-mentioned issues, sharing European experiences and influencing the perception of dealing with cultural preservation of city history. This can have a positive outcome for city since the discussions, involving various stakeholders, can result in practical recommendations how to maintain the cultural heritage and use it for art/cultural purposes. Benchmarking Gdansk/EU experience will be helpful for the discourse in Batumi. The added value will be bridging the creative space between the North (BSR) and the South of Europe (EP). Artists Creative Residency in Batumi and Stockholm will give opportunity to both Georgian and Swedish artist to think joint and collaborative approaches and art concepts. This will be mutually beneficial for both sides as we all belong to the same Europe, sharing European values and challenges. Connecting Georgia to MOW brings in added value to the EU project. We are interested in sharing methodology and non-formal education, co-design initiatives, citizen’s media platforms, and much more that has to do with urban development through culture initiatives as a driving force and cultural heritage as macro regional asset. We want to discuss real challenges and working processes on how urban planners, public decision makers and the professional culture sector collaborate with the civil society to build sustainable cities.

The project will be partly extended to Ukraine where the city of Mariupol faces the same challenges with regeneration of post industrial waterfront and we have a partner wishing to collaborate more extensively in the future, but that collaboration demands extended budget. We involve PPV Ukraine as experts on the regional urban challenges.

TU has addressed the topic of revitalizing industrial spaces in Mariupol several times in their art-projects, as well as the theme of Azov sea. However, they haven’t worked closely and directly with Mariupol port, although they have been there and know it, and have several ideas from their art-residence about collaborating with the port.


Adapting methodology used in the MOW for Connecting Georgia , to face challenges in urban development by using artists residencies and City Labs as tools. At all locations we create labs where citizens, artists, technologists, businesses and public sector organizations come together to co-create ideas, tools and technologies that will address local challenges in places with post industrial, also cultural, heritage.

Dissemination and communication activities between MCON and MOW

Intercult and BSCC have long track of communication between organisations, communicating common activities and projects on everyday basis. We aim to continue doing the communications even with MCON. Intercult and BSCC will share the experiences between the connected project and MOW during the City labs and project activities, also in Ireland, Greece, Skotland, Belgium. The Partnership of MOW is very engaged in the issues of European cultural heritage and will take on the task of communicating similar issues of Georgia. We all feel like a part of European community, empowering each other and our partners. Once taken into our circle, we eagerly exchange experiences and join opportunities. Project partners and collaborating partners of MOW are in possession of several communication channels to use for communicating between and with MCON. They will communicate the process of MCON and share the results through projects website and social media through Intercult as intermediary partner

Work Plan

16-19 October 2019 Gdansk

3 Georgian artists will join the residency as observers of the methodology and participants of visits to connect with artists from Memory of Water and local artists in Gdansk also offering helping hand with additional filming (1) , pro photography (2) and performing artist (1) tbc

Zviad Elizani from BAHA will join the Partner meeting of MOW and the International Urban LaL

TU Mariupol is invited as experts, with 2 representatives. Director Diana Berg will give a speech about challenges of Mariupol

March 2020

Combined artists research and creative residency in Batumi for 4 Swedish artists City

Lab Batumi 1 day with active presence of MOW partners, PPV and TU

Min. 3 MOW partners invited, 1 representative per partner

Budget to cover flight and accommodation. 400 Euro/ pp.

24-30 September 2020

Research and creative residency of Georgian artists in Stockholm

The local curator secure necessary arrangements for the realization of the artistic intervention, the Swedish artists acquire knowledge and process it, establishing ideas into interventions and turn the established ideas into realizing site-context-specific projects. The process is guided by local curator and shared with partner organization. 4 days of research activity, 2 days of preparations, 3 days of creation.

28th September Partner Meeting

29th September 2020

Dissemination lab of Memory of water combined with City Lab Stockholm at the port of Frihamnen

Join activity with Georgia and Ukraine.




NGO “Batumi Art-House ARGANI” Partner

Name, country and type of organization

Role of organization in this project

Competence of organization that contributes to this project

Added value this organization gains from participating

NGO “Batumi Art-House ARGANI” (BAHA)

(Batumi, Georgia)

  • Coordination of activities in Georgia – art residency, Urban Lab

  • Coordinating the selection of local artists for various events planned under the project

  • Promoting and PR of project activities in Batumi (Georgia), Media relations locally etc.

  • Communicating various stakeholders in Georgia (including artists) to integrate and involve in project activities

  • Assisting in various administrative / logistic issues of project implementation

BAHA is operating since 2006 and has many years of experience in developing and implementation of various at/cultural related projects, film festivals, trainings/workshops etc. Accordingly it has excellent competences in managing / coordination of projects.

BAHA has a large network of partners in Georgia including public, NGO and Private sector, as well as good cooperation with local artists.

The added value can be characterized as follows:

– Implementing the interesting and valuable art project with international partners in Georgia which will be helpful in gaining more experience in organizing of the art-residency and Urban Lab

– Developing the capacity skills both for organization members and local art sector representatives

– Developing international networking contacts and cooperation, which will serve also a good basis for future collaborative projects

Batumi Art-House ARGANI was established in 2006 in Batumi. The mission of Batumi Art-House ARGANI is the popularization of modern art/culture in Georgia through organizing various cultural events (festivals etc.), educational projects in the sphere of arts/Culture, to promote the cooperation between Georgian and foreign artists, film makers, producers etc.

Major Goals of Organization

  • Popularization of modern art and culture in Georgia.

  • Assistance and support of young Georgian film directors, musicians, painters, actors etc.

  • Promotion of traditional and modern Georgian Art on an international level.

  • Development of cultural ties with other countries.

  • Facilitation of professional development of artists/creative industry sector representatives via various workshops, trainings etc.

  • Organization of festivals and Various Art events

  • Facilitation of international cooperation in art/cultural sector – supporting/promotion of various collaborative projects.

  • Educational activities in different spheres of Art – trainings, master-classes workshops and seminars for capacity building and professional skills development.

The projects implemented:

BIAFF Film Festival – the major Project of Batumi Art-House “ARGANI” is the establishment and development of the BIAFF – Batumi International Art-house Film Festival. The festival was started in 2006 and represents the annual event. BIAFF currently is one of the major cultural festivals in Georgia which plays important role in development of Georgian film industry, popularization of art-house / non-commercial cinema, presenting interesting guests to audience and organizing various workshops and master classes etc.

BIAFF program consists of International competition (Feature, Documentary and short-films) and non-competitions sections (Georgian Panorama, MASTER’S COLLECTION, Meet the Jury, Special sections, Retrospective) etc.

BIAFF festival has also industry platform “Alternative Wave” – which was initiated in 2014. The major focus of “Alternative Wave” is to develop the low budget feature film projects with the support of foreign and local experienced film industry specialists. Selected participants have the opportunity to develop projects in the following areas – script, presentations, funding strategy, film production strategy, distribution and marketing strategy

Festival guests and celebrities in past years have included – Nastassja Kinski (Germany), Bela Tarr (Hungary), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey), Zbigniew Rybchinski, Krzystof Zanussi, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Jerzy Sturr, Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland), Jos Stelling (Netherlands), Abass Kiarostami, Dariush Mehrjui, Manijet Hekmat, Mohsen Mahmalbaf, Mahtab Keramati (Iran), Mikheil Kobakhidze, Otar Iosseliani Alexander Rekhviashvili, Nana Jorjadze, Irakli Kvirikadze, Rezo Esadze, Eldar Shengelaia, Gia Kancheli (Georgia).

Batumi Art-house ARGANI has implemented also various projects in art / cultural sphere, among which can be mentioned:

  • Popularization of Georgian Cinema Abroad (2010- 2018) – it was organized Georgian Film Days at various festivals during these years. Among them can be mentioned – a) 2010 “New Georgian Cinema” section at TOFIFEST 2010 (Torun, Poland), b) 2012 – Georgian Short film section at “Zubrofka Film Festival” (Poland), c) 2018 – Georgian cinema at “Schwerin film festival” (Germany), d) 2018 – Georgian Cinema special section at “Polish Film Festival In Chicago” (USA)

  • 2009 2012 – BIAFF FILM SCHOOL – during this project each year there was organized 1 week “BIAFF film school” focusing on various topics of cinema development – Scriptwriting, film directing, Doc film making etc. The Donors / Supporters – Ministry of Culture of Ajara region, “Britich Council”, “Open Society – Georgian Foundation” (Soros Fund). In 2013 the project was transformed in BIAFF INDUSTRY platform “Alternative Wave”

  • 2012 – French Film Club – it was initiated in May, 2012 with cooperation with Institute of France in Georgia and Batumi State University. The project aims the popularization of French films. Twice per month will be organized screenings of French films for Batumi audience.

  • 2012-2013 – “Capacity Development of Batumi Art-house ARGANI” supported byOSGF/Open Society Fund supported project. The Projects was focusing on capacity building via:

    • a) Organizing a series of workshops/trainings to improve the knowledge and professional skills / competences of participants (both – organization team member’s and people in arts in the Adjara region). Trainings include – Effective PR communications; Effective Social Media Communication; Photography Trainings and Project Management Trainings.

    • b) Improvement of Marketing/Promotion through development of a new interactive web site for BIAFF in addition to a strategic marketing plan to involve several types of social media tools.

    • c) Initating additional events/projects –a) BIAFF summer film school; b) BIAFF “Industry Meetings”.

  • 2011 – TV project “White Quadrant” – in cooperation with Press Café (Batumi) and TV 25 (Regional TV station) BIAFF club was organizing film screenings followed by discussions (moderated by Giorgi Masalkin) at Press café which was broadcasted on TV 25.

  • 2009 – BIAFF Club – The aim of club was to unite people interested in art, cinema, and culture in our region by arranging various art, cinema, music, and photography events, seminars and workshops.

  • 2006 “Art-in-Residence Project” – funded by OSGF (Open Society of Georgia Fund). The project was a joint art production consisting of music and short experimental videos. Musicians, producers, artists from Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine and Georgia participated in the project.

UKRAINE ( expert )

The mission of “Azov Development” NGO is promoting human rights and freedoms through an inclusive culture and modern arts, and develop critical thinking and responsibility in Ukrainian society. We’ve opened art-platform “TU”, the center in Mariupol, where underground culture, innovative ideas, modern arts, human rights and freedoms, are dominant values, to create the safe space for many vulnerable and discriminated groups.

Our projects, from art-residences to street actions, from exhibitions to festivals, address the most acute social themes and problems in order to develop critical thinking and free-mindedness.

Since Mariupol is near to the military frontline, our progressive initiatives oftentimes meet disapproval of ultra-right nationalists, still we keep fighting discrimination, stereotypes, and inequality, as we believe that Ukraine has only one way towards democratic, free, diverse and tolerant future. Our motto is: “Everything that works for developing culture works against war”.

+38 068 372 7527 Ksenia Chepa, manager
+38 096 275 9850 Diana Berg, director
Address: Mytropolytska st. 19, Mariupol, Ukraine


Since 2008, PPV Knowledge Networks is an economic development agency developing

businesses and supporting business eco-systems.

We are designing strategies and business models, generating project concepts and

managing projects, conducting studies and supporting investors. Creative economy and

green economy are our two focus areas.

We are based in Lviv, and mostly active in Western Ukraine.

PPV Knowledge Networks is a Business Support Centre set up within EU4Business

initiative by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). PPV

Knowledge Networks is a member of the European Creative Business Network (ECBN).

The agency has 20 FTEs and is organized across 6 practices:

1. Consulting

2. SME Development

3. Local Economic Development

4. Creative Economy

5. Green Economy

6. Angel Investment

We have over 60 implemented projects in our portfolio. Selected projects within the

Creative Economy portfolio:

Lviv Design Partnership – a joint project with Cardiff School of Art and Design

and Lviv National Arts Academy, funded within the Creative Spark programme of

British Council (

On-line map of the Ukrainian creative economy –

Pre-incubation services and direct investment into lislis toys lab

(, – wooden design toys brand.

Pre-incubation services and direct investment into grid/ (http://www.grididea.

com/), – frame furniture brand.

Delivering Creative Enterprise Ukraine


ukraine) workshops for cultural and creative entrepreneurs in various

cities in Ukraine (commissioned by British Council Ukraine).

Industrial design in Ukraine study


_Market_Study_PPV_2017.pdf, Ukrainian only) (delivered in 2017, commissioned

by the EBRD).

Creative Economy Days: Design for Competitiveness (http://creative-economydays.

com/en/), – with over 100 participants focusing on industrial design

ecosystem (2017, 2018 commissioned by the EBRD)

Study on financial needs of creative economy enterprises in Ukraine


e_Economy_Enterprises_in_Ukraine_PPV_KN.pdf, Ukrainian only, 2017).

Functional review of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, commissioned by the EUfunded

EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme (2017).

Website –

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