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Text: Maxim Masaltsev
Photo: Vladislav Larkin and Maxim Masaltsev

Georgian cinema was left behind in the last century. We still hope to hear once again about Georgian wine. Many of us have friends, colleagues, and relatives in Georgia, but less and less frequently we are given cause to remember Georgia’s renowned hospitality. And these days we pay our visits in tanks.
DE I met the little Georgian ‘fairy’ Nino Katamadze and her group Insight at the Moscow Art Academic Theatre on Tverskoy Boulevard after the first rehearsal of her new program ‘Blue’. Moscow still isn’t fully aware of what Nino had invested into this program - the secrets of maternity, desperation and an enormous amount of hope that everything could still put back on track.

DE I: Have you ever asked something impossible from God?

Nino:   I always find that so awkward. We always ask and ask, ask and ask, ask and ask. And then we forget immediately when we start getting what we want. We are all such egotists at that moment. And I am ashamed of myself before God.

DE I: Why do you feel ashamed? Doesn’t God talk to people through you?

Nino:   Yes, music is the language of God. But I didn’t understand this straight away. I still hadn’t reached 16 yet but I was completely independent, I took all my own decisions- where to live and with whom. I was gifted a freedom and this freedom opened up the music inside me. Sometimes I feel that I am living or doing something without music but I feel exactly as on stage. My relationship with my son is also a ‘conversation’ with God. He gave me a feeling which I needed to discover something; why is this feeling so huge? What will it lead to? I know I can forgive my son everything, any mistake he makes. That means that I must also forgive everybody else as well, otherwise I will not deserve my son. But I can make mistakes - God can’t.

DE I: Will you reveal your mistakes to your son or will give him freedom to make his own?

Nino:   I want to become friends with him. That is very, very important for everything. Not to develop some kind of German sense of responsibility in him, of course not. It’s important to understand the meaning of the commitments he makes. I’d like my Nikolay to understand clearly that every word, every action leads to responsibility. As for everything else – as he chooses himself. He can live where he wants and how he wants. I’m now in Moscow and he’s in Georgia and I am very scared that they will bomb my son. I call him every free second. Yesterday Shevchuk (Yury Shevchuk of rock group DDT and organizer of the show “Don’t shoot”) told me that he would use every last drop of energy to save my boy. We can all claim that we are not responsible for what we do, that we are not guilty as long as the ‘other’ side exists. We can blame it on the way we were brought up, that we don’t want to take responsibility for our actions. But what shall we leave for our children then? Let’s take Russia as an example. How many people live here? If all of them say that they want peace, then there will be peace. But we’ve got used to thinking only sitting before TV set. That’s why it’s very important for me to express in my work that I love everyone, and to repeat I love, love, love….truly love. And this word “love” must be filled with love in order for people to accept and feel it. Then they will pass it on to someone else. Love is like a salary that can’t ever be spent.

DE I: Why do people need sad songs?

Nino:   They are not sad, they are alive. If we try to transmit it visually we need a place to put this feeling exactly and if we count one, two, three, four ….it will not have time to express it self or make its mark. This is a feeling full with experiences, good ones, hard ones, amazing ones. My songs are not sad they are absolutely full. They are as life itself is. You had a good night out, drank, came home in the morning or didn’t come at all. Every feature of our lives we give the correct name to, and we understand that no matter where we have been, we will always come home in the end. That’s where we have the things that mean the most to us – mother, father, relatives, the feeling of ‘home’, your pillow, your little garden where you dig something, the morning smell. And the music needs our energy and our feelings no less than it needs beautiful melodies. In time, I came to understand that even one chord could be enough for an entire concert.

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