The Annual Rustaveli Lecture, 11 November 2019 at the Royal Asiatic Society
- Princess Tamara Imeretinsky, a Bagrationi of Imereti in exile; and
- Michael Aramyants, a prominent Tbilisian industrialist & philanthropist
Georgian linguist Nicholai Marr and his father's British roots, 20 November 2019
You are invited to a talk by Edward Marr to be held following our AGM on 20 November at the London Scottish House (95 Horseferry Road, SW1P 2DX). Doors open at 6.15 for a 6.30 start. Georgian wine and nibbles will be provided.
Nicholai Marr, Stalin’s Favourite Linguist & his Father’s British Roots Or Who was the Real James Montague Marr?
During the first decades of Soviet Russia the brilliant Georgian linguist, Nicholai Marr, was famed for his Japhetic Theory on the origin of Caucasian languages. He gained many Marxist followers, including Stalin, until his ideas fell out of favour in the 1950’s.
Nicholai Marr was born to a supposedly 86 year old Scottish man, James Montague Marr and 25 year old Georgian mother in Kutaisi in 1865. James Montague Marr had gone out to Georgia in 1822 and to this day there are many of his descendants in the country all, rightly, proud of their unique ancestor.
But who was the real James Montague Marr, what were his roots and why did he emigrate to Georgia?
Through a chance encounter online, amateur family historian Edward Marr connected to his Georgian relatives and found his paternal family history to be far more compelling than he ever expected, uncovering possible answers to an old family myth.
Following on from Prof. Donald Rayfield’s talk in 2015 at the British Georgian Society on Nicholai Marr, Edward Marr has researched the family’s history in order to understand more about the origins of James Montague Marr.
Presentation of 'The Eighth Life' by Nino Haratischvili at Pushkin House, 27 November 2019
On 27 November 2019 the British Georgian Society and Pushkin House present a discussion and reading from Nino Haratischvili’s internationally bestselling novel The Eighth Life (for Brilka).
At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian Empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste …
Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the centre of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century.
Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections. Great characters and greater relationships come and go and come again; the world shakes, and shakes some more, and the reader rejoices to have found at last one of those glorious old books in which you can live and learn, be lost and found, and make indelible new friends.
Nino Haratischvili will be in conversation with Tom de Waal of the British Georgian Society on the subject of her book and the wider historical narratives it explores, accompanied by readings from the book's English translators, Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin.
Ticket price includes a glass of Georgian wine.
Nino Haratischvili was born in Georgia in 1983, and is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and theatre director. At home in two different worlds, each with their own language, she has been writing in both German and Georgian since the age of twelve. In 2010, her debut novel Juja was nominated for the German Book Prize, as was her most recent Die Katze und der General in 2018. In its German edition, The Eighth Life was a bestseller, and won the Anna Seghers Prize, the Lessing Prize Stipend, and the Bertolt Brecht Prize 2018. It is being translated into many languages, and has already been a major bestseller on publication in Holland, Poland, and Georgia. In English, The Eighth Life is published by Scribe.
Tom de Waal is a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe based in London, specializing in Eastern Europe, Russia and the South Caucasus. He reported on Russia as a journalist in the 1990s for the Times and the Moscow Times, twice worked for the BBC World Service and has written on Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan for more than 20 years. He is the author of four books about the region, including The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, second edition, 2018). Tom is a board member of the Britain Georgian Society and one of the judges for the 2020 EBRD Literature Prize.
Launch of Save Europe's Heritage's latest publication, 30 October 2019
You are warmly invited to the London launch of the latest publication from Save Europe's Heritage in collaboration with The Tbilisi Heritage Group entitled, "Tbilisi Preserving a Historic City." The launch will take place on 30th October at The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ 6-8pm.
The new report shines a light on the incredible architectural beauty of the Paris of the Caucasus revealing surprises such as a strong constructivist and post-war modernist legacy as well as art nouveau and art deco of great majesty and delicacy.
The launch will be accompanied by a mini exhibition of photographs by Richard Davies from the report, as well as other high profile Save Europe campaigns.
Numbers are limited and booking is essential: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/save-europes-heritage-book-launch-tbilisi-tickets-72388559129
BGS Annual Supra at the Tamada Restaurant, 22 October 2019
The 2019 BGS Annual Georgian Supra will be held at the Tamada Restaurant (122 Boundary Rd, London NW8 0RH) at 7pm on 22nd October 2019. A charge of £25 per person (excluding drinks) will be collected on the evening. You are welcome to order your drinks individually.
This years supra will be in a format of a quiz night. We will let you know a special theme for this year’s BGS Annual Supra very shortly.
Please let us know if you are planning to join and register by emailing to info@
Talk and Book Launch of 'Unveiling Vazha Pshavela' on 1 March 2019
Unveiling Vazha Pshavela
Stories and Artworks Inspired by the Poet
1 March 2019, 18.45 - 21.00
Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP
Asia House, the British Georgian Society and the Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland present Talk and Book Launch followed by Poetry Reading and Georgian Polyphonic Singing, inspired by the 19th-20th century renowned Georgian poet Vazha Pshavela.
The new publication Unveiling Vazha Pshavela is the most comprehensive book to date of the poet's works in English. The publication is initiated by Georgian/British artist Andro Semeiko as part of his project investigating notions of self and motherland - through landscape, ethnography, and language of Vazha Pshavela. The poems in the book have been selected to illustrate the poet's powerful, tragic, often Shakespearean force, as well as the development of his ideas and approach to nature, very relevant to ecological politics in the world today. They have been translated by Donald Rayfield OBE. The book includes specially commissioned works by the contemporary Georgian writer Ana Kordzaia-Samadashvili, Georgian fashion designer Manana Antelidze, and the artists Leonid Semeiko and Andro Semeiko, which give a many-sided vision of the poet’s work.
- The event will be opened by the Ambassador of Georgia to the UK, HE Tamar Beruchashvili.
- Donald Rayfield will give a talk about the poet’s work followed by a discussion about the book with Andro Semeiko.
- A surprise distinguished guest will read selected poems from the book.
- Maspindzeli Choir will sing Georgian polyphonic songs.
- The artworks featured in the publication will be on display in the gallery.
- The book will be available to purchase during the event.
- Complimentary Georgian Wine and Canapés will be served to the guests.
Publication of the book was made possible by the generous support from Georgian National Book Center and Arts Council England.
General Admission: £10, Concession (60+): £8, Students: FREE
If you are unable to attend the launch but would like to purchase the book, you can find it on Andro Semeiko’s website: https://www.androsemeiko.com/vazha or from Foyles, Waterstones, Amazon and many art-specialised bookshops in the U.K.
2018 Annual Rustaveli Day and AGM - 27th November 6pm at the Royal Asiatic Society
The BGS Rustaveli Day and Annual General Meeting will be held at 6pm on the 27th November 2018 at at the Royal Asiatic Society.
Introduction by David Gigauri (British Georgian Society)
The British-Georgian actress Miki Iveria – the story of Princess Gayane Mickeladze
A talk by her nephew Dr. Henry Sanford.
The presentation will consist of extracts & photos from the memoirs of Gayane Mickeladze, a British-Georgian actress who came to England after the death in Menton of her father, Prince Iverico Mickeladze. Her family were hunted by the Bolsheviks, but escaped against all odds. Betrayed by a trusted Chinese servant, then rescued by a Jewish family, she was present at some of the pivotal moments in the history of the 20th century. When a child, Gayane was in the middle of the bombardment of Feodosia by German warships, attached to the Turkish navy, that brought Turkey into the first world war. Her Father’s encounter with Rasputin is extraordinary. Was football at her home the first to be played in the Russian Empire? Her account of the voyage on the SS Saratoff and ensuing boarding by Georgians and fight at sea is perhaps an unrecorded event. Her Father, who had been the youngest judge in the Empire, teamed up with a Circassian brigand to run arms to General Wrangel’s army in the Crimea. In England he met Churchill at the Central Asian Society having been entrusted with a plan to prise Georgia away from the USSR by making it a British Protectorate. Princess Gayane’s passion was acting and Maltese dogs. Under a stage name Miki Iveria, her career in theatre encompassed several decades and dozens of supporting roles in the UK. Iveria made her screen debut in The Adventures of Tartu and went on to play in over 30 films.
Medieval Georgian Romance The Man in a Panther-Skin & Shakespeare's Late Plays
Book presentation by Prof. Elguja Khintibidze.
Prof Khintibidze, Head of the Institute of the History of Georgian Literature at Tbilisi State University, will present his new book, translated into English in 2018. It’s an amazing story and a brilliant piece of academic research which aims to establish, for the first time, a fascinating connection between Elizabethan theatre and the great Georgian national 12th century epic. Based on the most rigorous textual analysis, he shows how remarkable similarities in theme, setting, plot, action and character - way beyond any mere coincidence of archetypes – demonstrate the clear influence of the Georgian epic upon both Shakespeare and Beaumont & Fletcher, particularly in Cymbeline, A King and No King and Philaster.
The event will be followed by Georgian wine & canapes by Tamada Restaurant.
BGS Charity Walk In Scotland 17-22 September 2018
5th BGS Seminar in Cambridge 15 June 2018
Details of the Panel Members:
H.E. Tamara Beruchashvili, Georgian Ambassador to the UK
Tamar Beruchashvili has been the Georgian Ambassador to the United Kingdom since March 2016. She was previously was the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2015), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2013-2014), Minister of Euro-Atlantic Integration (2004), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000- 2003) and Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations (1998-2000). In addition, from 2000 to 2010 she was a professor at Tbilisi State University.
David has an MBA from Warwick Business School, qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and speaks Georgian and Russian. A former Royal Navy Officer, he has led companies in developing markets since 1990. He was the CEO of Magticom, the largest telecommunications company in Georgia (2004-2016) and President of American Chamber of Commerce (2008-2012). He is currently the CEO of Lee LLC, the CEO of the European Business Association Georgia, Chair of the Europe Foundation and of the Caucasus Research Resource Centre.
Mark Pritchard MP
Mark has been the MP for The Wrekin (a semi-rural seat in Shropshire) since 2005. He studied theology, holds two Masters Degrees (in International Diplomacy and in Marketing & Management) a Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing and a Diploma in Public Relations. He currently serves on the Chairman's Panel of the House of Commons, which chairs and oversees Bills and Debates. He was appointed by the Prime Minister to the UK delegation to the Council of Europe in 2015. In 2017 he was appointed as the UK's first Trade Envoy to Georgia and Armenia.
David is a British academic and politician. He was the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge from 2005 to 2010. He is currently Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. He is theauthor of “Textbook on Tort”, “Law as Engineering: Thinking about What Lawyers Do” and variousarticles in academic journals and chapters in academic books. He has also been the Leader of Cambridge City Council and a member of the Liberal Democrats' Federal Policy Committee.
Kornely is Professor of Political Science at Tbilisi State University and Director of the Tbilisi based think-tank The Georgian Institute of Politics. His current research focuses on Georgian domestic and foreign policy, security issues of the wider Black Sea area and comparative party politics. He was arecipient of IREX and OSI fellowships and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Black SeaSecurity program (2009–2010), the Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2011) and The JohnsHopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Hubertus Jahn (Chair)
Hubertus is Reader in the History of Russia and the Caucasus in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He holds a PhD from Georgetown University and a second higher doctorate from the University of Erlangen in Germany. He has taught at universities in the USA, Germany, and the UK. His research covers much of Russian history, with a focus on social and cultural aspects, as well as the history of Georgia and the South Caucasus.
The Book Of Tbilisi Authors Talk May 23 2018
The Book of Tbilisi. Wednesday, May 23d. Doors open at 5.45 for a 6.00pm start
Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, W14 8EZ
The British Georgian Society is delighted to welcome Becca Parkinson from Comma Press with Zviad Kvaratskhelia and Bacho Kvirtia, two of the young writers featured in the Book of Tbilisi. The book is published by Comma Press and the publisher, Becca Parkinson, will talk about the project.
As Gvantsa Jobava writes in his introduction to the book: “The ten stories selected for this book offer a kind of literary guidebook to an outside world that used to be very remote. They tell you about the human challenges of living in a small country struggling to maintain its place on the map…..The stories selected are from a generation that grew up in decades of hardship but managed to adapt to an almost endless series of changes; a generation that contributed to the collapse of the old system, coped with the consequences of that collapse and invested all its energies in the building of a new one. Furthermore, these authors in particular struggled and survived as representatives of a new, open society, in order to hold a mirror up to the city and the country they live in.”
Comma Press has kindly offered the book to all BGS members at a massively reduced price! £8 inc P&P. Please indicate your BGS membership.
Payment can be made by cheque to ‘Comma Press’ and posted to Studio 510a, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, UK M4 7JA. Or by BACS. Make payment to: Comma Press. Account holder: R K Page. Bank: Santander. Commercial Bank PLC. Branch address: Bridle Road, Bootle, Merseyside L30 4GB. Account number: 0 249 4817. Sort code: 090150. BIC: ABBYGB2LXXX