This piece was inspired by the South Caucasus Conflict Transformation and Multimedia Collaboration school, organized by Imagine Center. It is my personal story of displacement, transgenerational trauma and reconnection with Abkhazia, that only indeed exists in my dream.

(c) Tamar Nadiradze

Palm on Fire         

       An Interview that could have happened
– Motherland?

– I`ll tell you what it looks like.
It is a bedtime story
that keeps you awake;
It exists only in the past tense
as a nostalgia
for things you haven’t seen,
and that might not even be real.
It’s a devouring mother,
a narcissist,
With Aluminium breasts.
Instead of milk
it feeds you powder,
condensed with obsessive thoughts and insomnia.
It is life spent waiting
for life to begin.
– If I remember it?
No, not at all. (chuckles)
It is a false memory.

It is a projection,
what it hides
is its non-existence.
it’s  fake smell of the sea;
pictures of palm trees;
people eating corn on the beach
in their fancy swimsuits
that are now called vintage;
Fake sun, even in winter;
dolphin statue with broken nose –
It’s all made up.
–  How do I know?
I`m sure.
It stops existing the moment
you forget.
-I didn’t forget.
But maybe sometimes,
in brief moments, in sleep,
or when I make love,
when noone is watching
I close my eyes
and I forget.
I know it sounds strange
I unimagine something
that is not even real.
– It makes no sense?
Why the hell not?
Yes, those are my pictures,
and my brother too,
Yes, I was two.
Those are my parents and their yard
And my granny and my aunt.
It is their memory, their picture, it is not mine.
No, no, no they are alive
My granny passed,
But well, they never forgot.
They’ve built shrines to their memories,
in a shape of giant steel dolphins,
It smells like burnt powder and it’s pitch dark
But there they see their past and unlive the present.
The ones who have stayed?
Yes, They live in my house,
in what was my house.
They never forget just like my parents.
In their dreams all those palm trees are on fire,
their houses – cross that
our houses – they are on fire, too.
They wonder, no, they dread

if these dreams are prophecies
or another false memory
planted by their own mothers.
They all have the same nightmare
and never talk about it,
like reality TV, they unlive their lives.
Because, you know,
everything only exists before or after,
… well … the war.
You`re right. I don’t like that word.
It says everything.
and that’s why it says nothing,
it leaves you speechless.
Wars should be mourned
not spoken about.
I don’t want to go on th…
– No, I have no hope
only sometimes
drunk on valium, wine, and pills
I have a vision
in which we meet, we meet in these photos,

it is the same yard,
this time like a motion picture,
like a lucid dream,
…cross that…
like a nightmare
palms are on fire,
but we do not mind.
frozen, no, burnt in time…
there is this nonplace,
where we take a picture,
not for our insta stories,
that disappear in 24 hours,
but as proof that we unlived together,
that we shared no dreams,
but at least nightmares.