2015 - 2016
In Georgia, a small post-Soviet country, having romantic relationships without being married is mostly unacceptable, sex is a taboo, and traditional gender roles are still very marked.
It follows that, according to a recent UNFPA study, 17% of Georgian girls get married when they are still underage: for the will of their parents, for love, for tradition or following the kidnapping by a suitor.
Most of the girls quit school, give up their dreams and become wives, mothers and often servants in the home of men they don't know at all.
Often isolated from their peers and from their families of origin, young brides are extremely vulnerable to physical and emotional abuse and only with a few exceptions manage to get some kinds of economic and decision-making autonomy.
In order to adapt to the requirements of the European Union in terms of human rights protection, Georgia tries through new regulations to address and eliminate the practice of early marriage.
I strongly believe child marriage is not a practice that can be simply removed with a tougher law: it’s necessary to gradually work on the mentality of people so to turn a practice considered for centuries as natural into one perceived as a problem.
Being conscious of the power of photography to grab our attention and speak directly to our emotions, the aim of this project is not only to promote a deeper understanding of the phenomenon but also to generate empathy of the audience toward those young mothers and brides who have the courage to tell their story despite the strong social pressures they receive.