Mano Svanidze

Five Second Rule

“Have you heard of the Five Second Rule? When food falls down, if you pick it up before five seconds have passed, it’s safe to eat. This is how we live, not letting ourselves down for too long.”

Georgia remains a conservative country, where hate and aggression towards sexual minorities are common. Hiding would be the instinctive thing to do, but not everyone can afford to. Having complicated and violent life journeys, many transgender women end up homeless and in order to survive, they become sex workers. This photo story is my attempt to share the stories of these women. They chose not to give up, but to live and somehow survive in an environment where they are most unwelcome

Project was made in the frame of Multimedia Lab Production Grant Program for South Caucasus Female Photographers.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Mano Svanidze (1992) is a self-taught Georgian photographer currently based in Tbilisi. She graduated from Tbilisi State University, faculty of Economics and Business with a BA in Marketing. She also studied composition and music for 10 years. In 2009 she discovered her interest in photography. Mano is a member and co-founder of Georgian Photo Collective – 90’x Collective. Her work has been published in various media outlets and exhibited in several countries including Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, South Korea, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Italy. Among different nominations and awards, In 2019 Mano received Equality Award for her long term documentary work about transgender women in Georgia. She is also one of the winners of Multimedia Production Lab Grant for South Caucasian female photographers. In 2020 Mano was selected as one of 30 best women photographers under the age of 30; the same year she won Magnum Photo Workshop Scholarship with Antoine D’agata. Currently she works as a freelance photojournalist.