Made by MENDOAbout the books
Who will recognize a great book better than a bookstore? A bookstore run by graphic designers. Here’s why: at MENDO we get market feedback seven days a week, we are blessed to be surrounded by a bunch of talented, inspiring people – photographers, writers and publishers – and after being a bookstore for more than 15 years, we can easily say we know what book aficionados are looking for. Don’t you agree that initiating, creating and realizing jaw-dropping books now, only comes natural?
A MENDO publication is a well-designed book with visually stunning creative content, browsed by people to be amazed and inspired. The subject-matter is one of our pre-defined curated categories, fashion, photography, interior, sport, lifestyle, food and traveling. In general, a MENDO book is a piece of furniture in itself.
Oosterbeek photographed young people dressed in everyday street style in their urban environment. Pink hair, a man with an earring, tattoos, a woman with a nose ring; the images are reminiscent of a typical Western European street scene. These young people are part of a counterculture in Tbilisi, Georgia. In this former Soviet state, the Orthodox Church continues to hold authority over society.
Atheism and homosexuality are not accepted by the conservative majority. Deviating from the norm is disapproved of, and not everyone has the freedom to express themselves and their identity. The concrete buildings captured in Oosterbeek’s photographs have become a prison for the progressive youth, kept in place by the outdated ideas of the masses. The dilapidated flats seem foreign to the Western observer, but to the people of Georgia, they are a daily reality.
The appearance of these Tbilisi youths is an act of resistance against the church and the prevailing conservative norms and values in their country. These small gestures, such as dyed hair and piercings, lead to intense daily confrontations, insults and violence. To escape from this harsh reality, they seek refuge in clubs, where inclusivity is valued above all else. They turn to nightlife to experience total freedom, without outside pressure or judgement. To rave in Georgia is a political statement.
Oosterbeek placed these young people, rejected by Georgian society, in front of the camera, to give them a voice. As opposed to the depictions of Tbilisi by photographers, tourists and fashion week, the stories shared in Everything OK not OK reveal the dark side of the country. Portrayed against everyday Georgian landscapes, in their living environment and standing among monuments, the youths photographed show what they stand for – fighting for their identity and dreaming of a place where they can truly be themselves.