Photographer’s family stuck in Ukraine | Local

DAILY ELKO

ELKO – Local artists have set up a fund to help a photographer get his wife and children out of war-torn Ukraine.

Irakli Dzneladze is one of two photographers from the Republic of Georgia who exhibited their work at the Northeastern Nevada Museum in 2019. He and his family have since moved to Ukraine, although he was in Georgia when war broke out. last week.

“The situation is very difficult,” Dzneladze wrote to Cynthia Delaney via Facebook Messenger on February 25. “My family met the New Year in (Republic of) Georgia. I built a house in the village and I plan to start an art residency this year. But Putin changed everything. My family is in Ukraine, I’m stuck in Georgia. My girls were in a bomb shelter last night and in the morning.

The girls, aged 6 and 8, are still in Shepetovka, a town in central Ukraine, with their mother.

Delaney said many local residents befriended Dzneladze and Giorgi Nakashidze in the summer of 2019 when they were invited to show their work at the museum.

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“They had never traveled outside of Europe, so coming to the United States was a really big honor for them,” Delaney said. “They flew to Las Vegas just to see it. Elkoans picked them up and escorted them to our town. Both were special guests here and treated like royalty. They toured the city, dined at the Star, visited local ranches, attended the fair and horse races, and marveled at our way of life.

The trip was sponsored by Jonas and Betsy Dovydenas, longtime friends and patrons of the museum, which has a permanent collection of photographs by Jonas.

“They brought gifts of Georgian wine and other generous offerings,” Delaney said. “The grand finale of the whole tour was a trip to Burning Man, a lifelong dream for Dzneladze.”

Dzneladze’s wife is Ukrainian and they decided to move there last year for work reasons. It seemed like a great opportunity.

Fast forward to last week and the story took a bitter turn.

“I have Covid and am waiting when I get better and arrive in Poland,” Dzneladze wrote last Friday. He has since recovered and has a ticket on March 3 to a city in Poland. From there he will try to arrange safe transportation for his family. He has no idea how much it will cost him.

“I don’t know how to convey what is happening,” Dzneladze said. “The price of a ticket to Poland is $1,000, there is no gas and there are over 200,000 people at the border.”

“The only thing for me is to rejoin my family and take care of our lives and then hopefully everything will be fine little by little.”

Meanwhile, friends Catherine Wines, Simone Turner and Delaney helped set up an emergency fund at Elko Federal Credit Union.

Anyone can help by going to the Elko Federal Credit Union and donating to the “Help Irakli Donation Account”. They can also call the bank at 775-750-4501 or send money to Elko Federal Credit Union, 2397 Mountain City Highway, Elko, NV 89801.

All funds received will be directly transferred to Deznaldze’s Bank of Georgia account which he will have access to during his stay in Poland.

“Please help this Ukrainian/Georgian family,” Delaney said.

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