hidden features

four rooms by giorgi shengelia


After the collapse of USSR and the brutal political, economical and social changes that followed, the disappearance of the communist regime in the early 90s, a large number of Georgians were forced to leave their country and families and go abroad in search of employment.

The women were the first ones to leave. Becoming illegal workers in different European countries, USA, Turkey, or Russia was the only way for them to earn some money and send the savings to their families in Georgia.

Georgia is on the top of the list of the countries with the most migrant illegal workers that left the country. From 5 million people living in Georgia during the last years of Soviet Period, 1.5 million left shortly after it collapsed. For most of the illegal worker women it has become impossible to travel for many years, so they can’t return to Georgia and visit their families.

Most of them remain prisoners of their situation abroad, but the money they earn is the only way for their families to survive. To save money, many worker women often share one apartment and live together.

Four Rooms tells the story of Salome, Irina, Keti, Khatuna, Dali, Nazi, Lali, Eka, Nino—9 women living in one of these apartments in Florence, Italy.