A concert by Chela, the Cambridge Georgian Choir, will take place on Wednesday 5th April at 7.30pm in Jesus College Chapel, Jesus College, Jesus Lane, Cambridge CB5 8BL

Entry is free, but there will be a retiring collection to support training of the choir and charitable causes in Georgia. Book your seats at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Chela Easter Concert 2017

Members of the British Georgian Society are invited to a lecture by Professor Donald Rayfield on the subject Whatever did the Iranians do for Georgia?

Georgians made many important contributions to Iran, particularly under Shah Abbas I, as military men, provincial governors and builders. Allahverdi Khan Undiladze, who built the eponymous bridge over the Zayandeh Rud in Isfahan, was a Georgian. In Georgia, however, wherever one looks at a ruined church one is told that it was destroyed by Shah Abbas. Did Iran contribute nothing to Georgia other than ruin and destruction?

Professor Rayfield is Emeritus Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary University of London. He has written many books about Russian and Georgian history and literature. He has translated Georgian poets and prose writers into English and is also the author of the Georgian-English dictionary.  He is much in demand as a lively and entertaining lecturer on Georgian history and literature.

The lecture will be held on 18th April at 7pm on Tuesday 18th April at the Army & Navy Club, Pall Mall, at 36 Pall Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y, UK.  Doors will open at 6.30 for guests to meet and have a drink at the cash bar before the lecture.

Those wishing to attend are requested to register with Antony Wynn, chairman of the Iran Society, no later than 16th April, so that they will be admitted to the club premises. The club may refuse admission to those who are not registered. Please register with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about the lecture, please see here.

 

Follow two BGS members, Steve & Anni Gregson, as they tour Georgia by bicycle. Firstly Iveria to the east in order to acclimatise  and taste the wine. Secondly up the Georgian Military Highway. Then a successful ascent of the Didgori Pass followed by a more leisurely couple of weeks cycling in the Lesser Caucasus, visiting the Vardzia caves, classy Borjomi, the nearby Bakuriani ski resort and finally Gori, Stalin's birthplace. "Cycle touring is a very stress-free way to travel, all you have to do is pedal, the rest is easy."

The talk, which will illustrate the gastronomic welcome in Georgia, will be followed by some Georgian wine, on what is after all Burns Night!

6.30pm Wednesday 25th January Georgian Embassy

Eric Lee

Sacred Spaces

The BGS Annual General Meeting will be held at 6.30pm on the 6th December at the Georgian Embassy. 

The AGM will be followed by a talk by Judge Christopher Buckwell. He will give a talk on ‘British Judges in Georgia’, describing a mission he led to Georgia.

Christopher Buckwell is an UK Immigration Judge. He has over 40 years of political experience. In 1997 he contested Sheffield Brightside constituency and currently is an Organising Secretary of Rochester and Strood CCA as well as a writer of a text on European Law.  In  2015 he was elected as the President of The Council of Immigration Judges. From 1983 he has been a Local Councillor. For many years Christopher Buckwell was a lecturer in EU Law, Development Studies and human rights.  

He is widely experienced in African countries (visited 23) including Sao Tome & Principe and other lusophone countries, Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Cape Verde. In 2013 Judge Buckwell lead a group of 20 Immigration Judges to Georgia and was invited by Georgian Ministry of Justice to lead a team of three consultants the following year. Christopher Buckwell is an experienced musician as a semi-pro saxophonist. As a great supporter of Georgia, he has given a number of pro bono performances as a saxophonist for charity events organised in support of Georgia.

We will also invite H.E. Ambassador Tamar Beruchashvili to say a few words, who has now been in post for the last eight months.

After the talks there will be wine and nibbles, as usual, with an opportunity for networking.

Rustaveli & Shakespeare @ Royal Asiatic Society

A workshop entitled ‘Developing University Careers Services in Georgia’ will take place on 

Thursday 15th September, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens , London W14 8EZ

Led by Paul Hacking, Martin Pennington and Khatuna Tskhadadze the workshop will focus on a two year multinational project to improve students’ employability by developing and implementing career education services in Georgian universities. They will outline the project achievements such as helping students manage their own career management, improving university teachers’ ability to teach career management and developing university links with employers. There will be an opportunity to try out exercises developed to improve students’ understanding of the world of work and learning.

As part of this EU funded project, Paul and Martin are co-authors of two publications: ‘Managing your Career – A Guide for Students’ and ‘Teaching Career Management – A Guide for HEI staff’, now in use in a number of universities across Georgia. Khatuna is Coordinator for the Students Career Development Center at Tbilisi State University and will give an up-to-date picture of the successful outcomes of the project. Paul and Martin were employed by the University of Essex who were working in partnership with the University of Vilnius, Corvinus University in Budapest and a range of Georgian universities.

Come along and hear about a successful European initiative and enjoy a glass of Georgian wine. Please confirm if you would like to attend this free workshop by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ARCHITECTURE OF TBILISI - A FREE EXHIBITION OF PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICHARD DAVIES 

22nd September 2016, 7pm.

The Gallery, 70 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6EJ Tube: Farringdon

These photos by Richard Davies of the historic architecture of Tbilisi are a selection of those which will illustrate a forthcoming book to be published by SAVE Europe’s Heritage in association with the Tbilisi Heritage Group. Contributors to the book will speak at the launch and give an update on current threats to Tbilisi’s architectural heritage.

News

Cancellation of 12 June event at Pembroke College

On behalf of the British Georgian Society, the board would like to update you about this year's BGS Cambridge Seminar at Pembroke College. The event at Pembroke on Monday 12 June is now cancelled. The keynote speaker, Georgian Defence Minister Levon Izoria, had to call off his visit to the UK in mid June. We apologise for any inconvenience - and hope you will understand the organisers' decision in the circumstances to put the event off for a future occasion.

A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili 27th April 2017 Asia House

As the first month of spring slowly comes to an end, on Thursday 27th April, 18.45 at Asia House Donald Rayfield remembers Georgian poet Nikoloz Baratashvili  (1817-1845). On the occasion of his 200th birth anniversary, Donald Rayfield Emeritus Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary University of London will give a talk, A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili. For further information and tickets go to the Asia House website.

Read more ...

Direct Flights From London To Georgia

There have been recent announcements that various airlines will operate direct flights from London to Georgia. The Hungarian owned low cost Wizz Air will commence bi-weekly flights from Luton to Kutaisi from 18th June 2017. This will be followed by Georgian Airlines (Airzena) flying directly from Gatwick to Tbilisi, also twice a week. Start dates to be confirmed. There is also an article on the online outlet commersant.ge that Ryanair will also commence flights from London to Tbilisi. 

Anthony Bryer OBE

An obituary by Bruce Clark

PROFESSOR ANTHONY BRYER, who has died aged 78, was an exuberant, charismatic historian and lecturer who did more than anybody in his generation to stimulate the study of Byzantium in Britain and beyond.

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Anthony Bryer OBE

A short appreciation by Professor Judith Herrin

Anthony Bryer OBE, the wonderful, inspiring teacher and promoter of Byzantine, Greek and Turkish culture, died at his home in Birmingham on 22 October, 2016. He established the field of Byzantine Studies in the UK and embodied its international significance through his work on the region of Trebizond/Trabzon in eastern Turkey.

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Religion, Conversion and Identity among Armenians and Georgians in Safavid Iran 29 September 2016

Professor Edmund Herzig of Oxford University will give this lecture on 29 September 2016, 7.30pm. Armenian House, 25 Cheniston Gardens, London W8 6TG Tube: High Street Kensington. Admission £5 (£3 students) payable on the door, to include wine and nibbles. For full information see here

Georgian Singing Events and Dance Performed to Rustavi Choir Songs in May and June

For those of you within reach of London here are details of two concerts with Georgian singing coming up soon:

Tbilisi Opera House to Reopen

The Tbilisi Opera House is to reopen after extensive refurbishment. Through 165 years of history it has survived Tsars, Soviets and civil war. Here is a link to a recent Guardian article

Stand Up For Georgia

BGS director Denis Corboy contributed to a report published today (6th January 2016) for US News and World Report, on the current state of Georgian democracy and prospects for the economy. This generally positive reassessment is a welcome and upbeat note to start the New Year, hoping that this optimism is justified and can be maintained throughout 2016. Here is a link to the article or you can downloaded it as a pdf here

Makhmalbaf's The President released in the UK

Mohsen Makhmalbaf's latest film The President was shot in Georgia with Georgian actors. It is being released in the UK on August 21st and here is a pdf with the details.