The Colour of Pomegranates

Dash Arts in collaboration with BGS presents The Colour of Pomegranates; a biography of the Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova (King of Song). One of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, Sergei Parajanov's film reveals the poet's life depicting his coming of age, discovery of the female form, falling in love, entering a monastery and dying, all framed through both Sergei Parajanov's imagination and Sayat Nova's poems. The film was illicitly smuggled out of the Soviet Union in the 1970s for its UK premiere at the ICA. We are delighted that before the film at 8.05pm there will be a pre-show discussion with Donald Rayfield and Bill McAlister in discussion with Dash Art's Artistic Director Josephine Burton

Bill McAlisterBILL MCALISTER  Born Yorkshire 1940. Father William Katz Nelson killed in Spitfire in Battle of Britain. Childhood in Canada. Educated at St. Edwards School Oxford and University College London. BA Hons Psychology & Philosophy. Early career: community activist founding playgroups, adventure playgrounds, Housing associations, Almost Free Theatre, Community Bus Company, Trade Union of Father Xmases etc. Director of Battersea Art Centre. Director (ICA) Institute of Contemporary Arts 1976-1990. Cultural Policy Director Soros Foundations 1990-95. Awarded: Order Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres. Honorary Citizenship of Commonwealth of Maryland. Independent Arts producer and Trustee of various educational and cultural foundations. Baptism in film-making at age 74 with Georgian film ‘Pret a Vivre’ and film about street dogs in Istanbul ‘Taskafa’. Lives in Islington and has a passion for tennis, mushroom foraging and fishing.

Donald RayfieldDONALD RAYFIELD Born 1942, educated at Dulwich College and the University of Cambridge, Donald Rayfield has been most of his life a lecturer and then Professor of Russian. In 1973 he first visited Georgia and has since then written a history of Georgian literature, edited A Comprehensive Georgian-English Dictionary and recently published a history of Georgia (Edge of Empires), which will soon be published in a Russian edition. He is also the author of a biography of Anton Chekhov and a study Stalin and his Hangmen, both of which have been translated into other languages, including Russian. He has translated a number of Russian and Georgian poets, playwrights and prose writers and written on a various topics in comparative literature. He is now an emeritus professor, but continues research. He lives in Kent and has a passion for horticulture, especially exotic trees.

ThéKo ParajanovAt 7.30pm alternative singer and multi-instrumentalist THéKO (Parajanov) will transport us into an intimate poetic landscape shaped with tales and notes of her own human tragedies and quixotic moments, with ukulele, djembe and guitar adornments. Her stories are dispersed through her multilingual Georgian, English, Russian, Portuguese, French, Italian, Arabic, Turkish tongue and will be the perfect warm up to this extraordinary film.

Dash Cafe at Rich Mix, London E1 6LA, doors open at 7.00pm, FREE admission with pay bar, but email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to say you're coming. 

News

BBC Radio 4 Food Programme on Georgia

Two excellent programmes presented by Dan Saldino are available on BBC iPlayer Radio. Feast Like a Georgian: A Food Guide to the Caucasus., first broadcast on 4th September, features food writer Carla Capalbo, author of Tasting Georgia (published earlier this summer), guiding Dan through a supra. Zero Compromise: A (Georgian) Natural Wine Story., broadcast on 11th September, has Dan Saladino travelling into the Caucasus in search of "zero compromise" natural wine makers. He finds them in Georgia, thought to be the birthplace of wine, and home of the qvevri.

Armand Wang's photos of BGS events available on Facebook

Photographer Armand Wang, a BGS member, wonderfully captures the atmosphere at BGS events in his descriptive photos and regularly posts them on the BGS Facebook page. Here are links to recent events Conversation with the two Ambassadors and Second Annual Charity Festival hosted by Tamada

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.

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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