Elza Javkhishvili | …lebt und arbeitet in Berlin.

Berliner Zimmer

Elza Javkhishvili was born in Georgia (then the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic). As a child, she experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union. She began studying directing at the Shota Rustaveli University of Theatre and Film in Tbilisi but decided to come to Germany as an au pair in the early 2000’s. She then studied at the Technical University of Dortmund and the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). She talks about her life in exile and the painful naturalisation process in Germany.


The exhibition project “…lebt und arbeitet in Berlin” builds on the video archive project Berliner Zimmer, which Sonya Schönberger began in 2018 in collaboration with the Stadtmuseum Berlin. This ever-expanding archive of video interviews with Berliners can be accessed online at any time and also forms part of the Stadtmuseum Berlin’s digital collection.

Alpha Nova & Galerie Futura showed the interviews as a video installation as part of an exhibition from June 18 to August 21, 2021. 

… lebt und arbeitet in Berlin.

Berlin has always been associated with the promise of a better, safer and more liberated life. Today more than ever, Berlin is a city of new arrivals, a place of aspiration and refuge, especially for artists and creators, who see in it a place where self-realisation is possible.

The stories of the women interviewed reveal personal motives, structural difficulties and social hurdles linked to migration in general and labour migration in particular. At the same time, they provide an opportunity to reflect on current and future social coexistence in the city, including with regard to the social and professional equality of women, particularly in the area of art and culture.

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