22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Archil Kikodze

Portrait Archil Kikodze

Archil Kikodze was born in Tbilisi in 1972. From 1989 to 1992, he studied Asian and Middle Eastern studies at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. He then studied at the Shota Rustaveli State University for Theater and Film until 1999. From 1991 to 1994, he took part in search expeditions in the mountains. Today, he is still active as a nature hike guide and in the ecotourism sector; he wrote travel guides about the Georgian regions of Svaneti and Khewi as well as the Tusheti and Lagodekhi national parks.

Since 1993, Kikodze has published short stories, essays, articles, and photographs in various Georgian newspapers and literary journals. His novella »The Story of a Bird and a Man« (2013) has been translated into Swedish, Polish and German. The flow of the narration in the text is quiet, almost contemplative; at the center are people with their everyday experiences. But what at first appear to be unspectacular everyday pictures densify into detective stories in which Kikodze leads the reader step by step through themes such as crime and punishment, pride and prejudice, and love and hate. This family history thus, more realistically than history books, shows fragments from Georgia’s past that stretch across generations up until today. In his first novel »Southern Elephant« (2016), Kikodze takes his protagonist, a film director who has left his apartment to a friend for a rendezvous, wandering through Tbilisi for a day. He observes the places in his city mainly as scenes from his life, gazing into the mirror of the past, and childhood, youth, episodes of love and passion, mistakes and tragedies are illuminated before his inner eye. Going beyond private life, he also reflects on the later years of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent Georgia after its fall, on the older generation’s difficulties in adapting to the new circumstances, on the horrors of the war with Russia and its consequences. »Southern Elephant is a novel which the city has long been waiting for. Just as Marcel Proust was earned by the Champs Elysée, so Tbilisi has earned Archil Kikodze, who has in his very first novel put the capital city in its pocket«, writes Levan Berdzenishvili.

Kikodze wrote the screenplay for the episodic film »Tbilisi, I Love You« (2014) and plays the main role in the Georgian movie »Blind Dates« (2013). In 2018, along with other authors, he is representing Georgia as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair. He has won numerous Georgian literary prizes for his work and lives in Tbilisi.