Currently based in Paris but hailing from Ukraine, Loriashvili released a Zine in 2022 entitled My Last Voyage in This Fucking World, a collection of photographs and recollections taken before the Russian invasion, with proceeds going to support those in Ukraine. Having taken a trip back to Ukraine, Loriashvili is working on the follow up part of their project now, collating the experience of conflict from the lives of everyday civilians; companions, strangers and artists.
When I first encountered the works of Sofiya Loriashvili, I felt I had stumbled into a world in which everything could be shared with me, every intimacy, every secret, where gestures and glances which before were obscure could become searingly clear. Her photography, often using her friends as their main subject, has a shockingly bold quality. These are pictures of refugee spaces, unmade beds, squashed cigarettes and damp tiles; bodies, sometimes clothed, often not, sprawled or curled or daringly erect, portraits where we feel as if we, too, are the closest of friends with their subjects, after only regarding the angle of the jaw or the curve of a hip. It is work to make you feel alive in ways you thought you couldn’t previously. Loriashvili’s photography is testament to the indispensability of art, not just that it continues to matter in times of danger or uncertainty, but that it is in these times that we need it more than ever.
Loriashvili will be crowdfunding for the second collection in the series; details of how to donate to the fund can be found on her website and socials. Proceeds from the book will go to charities supporting those affected by the continued conflict in Ukraine.