Rustaveli Day 2014

The BGS Annual General Meeting will take place at the Georgian Embassy on 5th December 2014 at 6.30pm. As well as the usual business of the meeting, electing directors and receiving the annual Report and Accounts, we will have two speakers: HE Professor Revaz Gachechiladze, the recently appointed Georgian Ambassador, will give a talk 'Political Situation in and around Georgia'; Peter Dodge, the BGS honorary legal adviser, will give a talk "We're playing Dynamo Tibilski": Personal Reflections of a Sports Fan on Georgia's Place in International Competition. 

As the AGM was non-quorate, the directors will shortly reconvene the meeting to ratify decisions taken. 

The MP for Huntingdon and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Georgia will give a special talk to BGS members reflecting on the APPG visit to Georgia in Summer 2014. This will take place in the IPU Room in the Houses of Parliament on 15th December 2014 at 6.30pm

Jonathan Djanogly talk in Parliament

BGS and the Georgian Embassy are happy to host the UK launch of a new book about Georgia taking place on Tuesday 4th November at 6.30pm:-

Georgia, the Land Below the Caucasus - A Narrative History by Peter F Skinner, an English writer who lives in New York, where the book was launched two months ago (see review below).

The 500-page book is a full colour illustrated history of the Georgian nation, with many maps, photographs and a clear, well-written text.

BGS director Peter Nasmyth will introduce Peter Skinner, and the new ambassador, HE Rezo Gachechiladze, will say a few words. Peter Skinner will give a short talk and then take questions and sign copies of his book for sale.

There will be Georgian wine (by kind courtesy of the Embassy) and some nibbles.

Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ. If you would like to attend please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Brides Patardzlebi 2014

BGS ANNUAL SUPRA & TALK BY TINATIN KAJRISHVILI at 7pm on Wednesday October 22nd - Little Georgia Islington Restaurant, 14 Barnsbury Road, London N1 0HB, UK 0207 278 6100. (Angel tube station).

Tinatin Kajrishvili will give a talk on her latest film Brides (Patardzlebi) 2014, which was shown as part of the 2014 BFI London Film Festival. The film, which is written, produced and directed by Tinatin, is a personal account of her own experiences. Her previous films include Paradjanov, Shavi Tuta, Unknown Soldiers, etc.Little Georgia table

We will also have a presentation by Costanza Curro, PhD candidate in Social anthropology at SSEES-UCL on Georgian Hospitality.

The cost is £25 per head for a multiple course dinner (payable to the restaurant on the night): wine will be extra. The evening will be accompanied by live Georgian (ქალაქური-‘kalakuri’) city song. 

BGS and MCS supported by the Embassy of Georgia and the Georgian Community in UK are pleased to announce that the international pianist, Khatia Buniatishvili, has agreed to give a short recital and to be interviewed by Michael Church, classical music critic of The Independent. 
 
The event will take place at Wetherby School (near Marble Arch) at 7pm on June 3rd. There will be a welcome drink on arrival and then after the recital and conversazione, a reception with Georgian wine and canapes and a chance to meet Khatia. There will be a charge of 15 Pounds for the event. Please book by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

M.C.S.
in cooperation with 
British Georgian Society

present

Kathia Buniatishvili
pianist

We are proud and excited to invite you  to this unique opportunity to hear a rising international  Georgian pianist - Kathia Buniatishvili. A prominent classical music critic at the Independent Michael Church will interview the artist. Alongside her performance, the evening will be followed by Q&A.
 
 

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. 

Ambassador's briefing to BGS

After the successful inaugural event in Cambridge at Pembroke College in June 2013, which featured Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Usupashvili as a keynote speaker, this year's seminar will be held at Clare College, and is organised in conjunction with CamCREES. The keynote speaker in 2014 will be the Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania

British Georgian Chamber of Commerce

RSVP essential to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to attend. 

We are grateful to the British Georgian Chamber of Commerce for donating Georgian wine. 

Seminar at Cambridge 2014

 

A FUND-RAISING WORKSHOP TO SPONSOR A “CASH COW" FOR POOR GEORGIAN FAMILIES IN SAMTSKHE-JAVARKHETI

 COME AND LEARN ABOUT GEORGIA’S  HERBS AND SPICES – TASTE THE FLAVOURS OF GEORGIAN CUISINE

 

 MONDAY APRIL 28th - 6.30PM WORKSHOP AT THE GEORGIAN EMBASSY

   A COW PROVIDES AN INCOME

In the warm glow of post-British-Georgian-Society-Christmas-Party bonhemie we decided to spend the remnants of the celebration budget on buying a cow for a poor Georgian family. Thus we would give them food and an income – sale of the cheese and calves would create a small business 

 

News

British Author Katie Ruth Davies New Book Set In Georgia

According to HE Tamar Beruchashvili Katie Ruth Davies "is a prominent author, journalist and supermum. She’s an expert in many things, including vampires!’’. Editor-in-Cheif of Georgia Today, Katie now lives in Georgia with her partner and 3 children. She is author of the Blood Omen books and is on a publishing tour of the UK (next week she will be in Bristol) promoting her first young adult book set in Georgia Angel (book one of the new Dark Wings series). Robert Edgar was at her London book launches at the Georgian Embassy and Primrose Hill Library and wrote in Georgia Today

Discovering Places: Georgia at Royal Geographical Society

The Royal Geographical Society is having an event on Georgia, on Wednesday 21st February 2018, 7pm - 9pm. It is part of their Discovering Places series and has an expert panel of Donald Rayfield (writer, historian and regular BGS speaker), Olia Hercules (chef and author of Kaukasis), and Marta Hills (a sustainable tourism expert and regular backpacker). Follow this link for further details.

Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Blu-ray And Special Screening At ICA

Sergei Parajanov’s celebrated masterwork The Colour Of Pomegranates paints an astonishing portrait of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, the ‘King of Song’ and now arrives on Blu-ray for the first time, presented in a stunning new restoration by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia.

The film arrives as The Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Box Set, a luxury two-disc collector’s set on Blu-ray complete with a 112-page perfect-bound book, a host of brand new special features, archive material, short film, documentaries and both the Armenian and Russian versions of the film. It arrives on 29 January 2018.

There will be a special screening of the film on January 27th at 4.15pm at the ICA, introduced by Daniel Bird.Please see the link here.

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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