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This year at the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival, curator Tina Schelhorn is presenting images by the American photographer Chris Suspect. His Suspect Device - How did punk do it? series, reveals the punk scene in Washington D.C.. Suspect spent four years going to parties, concerts, clubs and the surrounding alleyways to photograph the pictures for the project. In the following interview, he speaks about music, photos festivals and how much he is looking forward to travelling to Georgia.

What does this exhibition at the Kolga festival mean to you?

I am very excited to be part of the Kolga Tblisi Photo Festival. Tina Schelhorn of Galerie Lichtblick in Cologne, Germany, curated the show featuring me, Richard Bram and Saul Robbins. She has impeccable taste so I am sure the exhibit will be fantastic, plus I will get to spend time with Tina and Richard and meet Saul for the first time. Richard and I will be doing a street photography workshop which I am really excited about because I will get to meet some Georgian photographers and hopefully gain some insight into what Georgian culture is really like through their work. I am sure they know some great spots for street photography in Tbilisi that an outsider may not be aware of. Finally, after this hectic schedule, I am looking forward to taking a dip in one of Abanotubani’s famous sulphur baths!

Which of your photos will be shown there?

A set of 18 selected photographs from my book Suspect Device will be on display. The photos document the last 4-5 years of the current punk and hardcore music scene in Washington, D.C. These are images of high impact in close quarters. My objective was to have the photographs appear like recollected memories from my youth when I was going to punk shows in the 1980’s and in part they also serve to show that this youth movement has stood the test of time by outlasting many others over the course of music history.

What do you expect from the festival?

I have not been to the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival before nor have I been to Georgia so I am not 100% sure what to expect. I will say the people running the festival have been on the ball and a pleasure to work with. I am sure it will be nothing short of spectacular given the attention to detail the staff has gone to in their interactions with me via email and Skype.

Which other festivals would you recommend?

I have not had much experience with photo festivals outside of the United States but this past year’s Photoszene Köln with Marcus Schaden’s Photobook Museum was top notch. I don’t think I have seen a finer exhibit on photobooks anywhere. In the US I strongly recommend Look3 - The Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia. They basically take over the downtown area and turn everything into a gallery, plus they have great talks with legendary photographers. I think this year Larry Fink is coming and I am very much looking forward to that. Finally, Art Basel Miami Beach is hands down the best art festival I have been too. There is so much to see, do and photograph when you are down there. You can’t possibly do it all in a week.

Beside the festival - are there any other locations in Georgia that you would like to visit?

I would like to go to Batumi and see the Black Sea coast. I hear that the wine is really good. I am also curious if there is a Georgian punk subculture there. I can’t find much online, but I really like checking out other countries’ music scenes, so perhaps I’ll discover something new.

The Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival takes place in Georgia from May 1 to 15, 2015. Further information available at: www.kolga.ge.
© Chris Suspect – Suspect Device, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival
© Chris Suspect – Suspect Device, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival
© Chris Suspect – Suspect Device, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival
© Chris Suspect – Suspect Device, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival
© Chris Suspect – Suspect Device, Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival
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