↑ (c) Salome Jokhadze

The parliamentary majority of Georgia has presented a Kremlin-style bill "On Transparency," also known as the "Foreign Agent Law," in April 2024.
The proposed bill would have forced organizations receiving over 20% of their funding from outside Georgia to register as "organizations pursuing the interests of a foreign power": organizations deemed to have "foreign influence" would become subject to government monitoring and face large fines for non-compliance with the government rules. The law posed serious dangers to human rights, free media, free speech, and the organizational work of civil organizations and NGOs.

After the bill was presented, mass demonstrations began in Georgia and continue to this day, lasting more than three weeks.

The process of passing the bill on “foreign agents” in Georgia is coming to an end. The parliament already approved in second reading regardless of the demonstrations. Technically, only a few passages are left until the law is fully approved and enters into force.

Moreover, the same Georgian Dream party announced the creation of a database - a sort of enemy list - where they will place individuals they consider undesirable. Mass threats, arrests, and widespread intimidation are already occurring in Georgia as a result.

Based on the ongoing rapid changes and dangerous actions taken by the government of Georgia, as well as witnessing the intimidation of peaceful demonstrators, we have decided to respond as much as possible.

Some members of the Georgian Pavilion of La Biennale di Venezia, Georgian students living in Venice and elsewhere, and migrants are gathering together on

12th May at 15:00
in front of Palazzo Palumbo Fossati

to hold a peaceful demonstration of support for the ongoing protests in Georgia.

We aim to create a peaceful and artistic environment for all those wishing to speak out against political oppression and oppose against the brutal intimidation of the demonstrators who stand for justice and human rights.

Participants in this event plan to use the stage to speak up for Georgians, demonstrating on the streets in the heart of Tbilisi and condemning all brutalities against them, especially targeting vulnerable groups such as teenagers, youth, females, and the elderly.
We express solidarity with the people of Georgia seeking freedom from Russian influence, as it has been doing for decades now.

Furthermore, the location outside of the Georgian Pavilion is specific in its symbolism. As a national pavilion it is supposedly advocating for values which are being held by the country.

This year the theme of the pavilion is by no means associated with the Georgian Dream party.

Art of Seeing – States of Astronomy” is a pavilion of foreigners (French, Georgian artists who migrated to France, Georgian, German and Italians).
It is a pavilion that opens its wings towards Europe, echoing the hopes of the youth in Georgia. In December 2023, Georgia was granted its EU candidate status. Only few months ago, in January 2024, the Ministry of Culture selected this pavilion which reflects stories of exiles of stargazers.

Peaceful demonstrations have already been held in Rome and Milan on 5th May, and a few more are planned for the following days. Specifically, protests are planned in Florence and Naples for the 11th and 12th of May.

(C) Salome Jokhadze for visuals

documents :