No time limits, no rules, an indiscriminate number of players—let’s play Lelo! The game is a no-holds-barred combination of wrestling and rugby that is very popular in south-western Georgia. Every Easter Sunday, the residents of Shukhuti remember their dead by playing this ancient game. Lelo is a sport, and a tradition, but most of all it’s about passion, strength, faith and devotion.
Two creeks, about 150 meters apart, mark the goal lines for two teams. Between them a playing field full of houses, gardens and a road. The teams are made up of citizens from the upper and lower halves of this small town but whoever wants is free to join them. The aim is easy: whichever side is the first to carry a 16 kilogram ball back to their creek wins. Meanwhile fences, trees, and bones are crushed by a big melee.
Victory not only means beat your opponent. Victory is a tribute to those who are no longer with them. The ball is given as an offering to a deceased villager and placing it on his grave after the match. Kvemo (the lower part) took the victory this year, at least until the next Easter battle starts.
Q&A with Cristina Aldehuela & Jordi Perdigó
Jordi: Photography is just a medium to share and exchange emotions.
Cristina: Photography is my way to see the world, to perceive the emotions that spring forth around.
Photography and writing…
J: They are two different ways of communication, Photography goes straight to your guts, its rawness in pure form. Writing is when we try to put words to those feelings.
C: They are two different forms to express yourself. You could say photography gets you quickly, it’s straight forward as everything it’s said just at the moment when you look an image. Meanwhile, writing has a slower time to involve you, to seduce you. It’s impossible to compare these two forms of communication. Photography and writing narrate realities, bring different ways to see the world, both have an influence on those who receive them, but each in its own pace and style.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
J: Enric and Francisco, both of my grandads were my biggest source to learn about life. Now it’s my 2 kids who constantly show to me what it’s all about.
C: My father left an important impression on me when I was a child. I learned from him the love and passion for photography. I can’t recall a day without seeing my father with a camera on his hands.
Tell us a little about yourself
J: An injured musician who discovered photography by chance. I’ve worked as photo assistant, retoucher, studio photographer and photojournalist for various newspapers. Doing fashion, portrait, architecture, documentary and everything in between. To me, there’s nothing like to get close to people and listen to them. All I need is a small camera, a fixed 28mm lens and a good pair of shoes.
C: I studied journalism and photography. I began my photographic career in 2009 at university when I founded a photographic collective. I’ve worked as a writer in various newspapers and magazines. As a photographer, some of my reportages have been published in Spain and England. I’ve participated in a few exhibitions with my works about Occupy Movements and the economic crisis of Spain.
Jordi Perdigó was born in 1980 in Barcelona, Spain. He started taking black&white pictures with a broken loaned camera as teenager. He holds a Masters in the Arts in Photojournalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is a photojournalist who after working in newspapers in Finland and Spain quit and start documenting his own reality, newspapers not allowed him to put feeling in his pictures. He is currently living between Finland, Spain and Caucasus.
Cristina Aldehuela, “I studied journalism and photography. I began my photographic career in 2009 at university when I founded a photographic collective. I’ve worked as a writer in various newspapers and magazines. As a photographer, some of my reportages have been published in Spain and England. I’ve participated in a few exhibitions with my works about Occupy Movements and the economical crisis of Spain.”