GUP Author


There are two places in the world that share the name “Georgia”: one is a state in the deep south of the United States and the other is a country in Eastern Europe, in the former Soviet Union. Based on their geography, one could expect them to be vastly different, but because they share a name, we wonder about their similarities. Photographers Yanina Shevchenko (1986, Russia) and Kyler Zeleny (1988, Canada) started a distant collaboration to study the two Georgias, influencing each other’s work. Shevchenko photographed Georgia the country, while Zeleny photographed Georgia the state, each working with the intention of not perpetuating stereotypes that reinforced ideas of their respective Georgias. The images are then paired as diptychs, to emphasize, as Shevchenko describes it, “the very obvious and apparent differences as well as the unexpected similarities.” Together, they form a seemingly single place, which does not exist in actuality.