Nikolai Marr 1905BGS is delighted to invite all members and friends to a talk by Professor Donald Rayfield, on the fabulous genius of Nikolai Marr, Stalin's favourite linguist, a man whose theories, particularly about the Georgian language, had the most extraordinary and unexpected results within the field of linguistics and far beyond.

Professor Rayfield is Emeritus Professor of Russian & Georgian at the University of London. He is the author of seminal books on Russian and Georgian Literature, & on Stalin; he wrote the definitive History of Georgia, "The Edge of Empires", and is the editor-in-chief of the Georgian-English Dictionary. Not only an extremely distinguished academic, Professor Rayfield is also a most entertaining and erudite speaker, whose great knowledge - & personal experience - of Russian and Georgian history & politics adds immeasurably to all his reflections.

Georgian wines will be served!

Where: The Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ

When: Tuesday 17th February at 7 pm

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

Donald Rayfield has kindly supplied a printed version of his talk which can be read below.

Nana MzhavanadzeNana Mzhavanadze, as the many of us who have been delighted by her singing or attended her workshops already know, is an eminent ethnomusicologist from the Tbilisi Music Conservatoire with deep knowledge of Georgian polyphony. She was born in Western Georgia into one of Guria's leading musical families, and grew up with polyphonic singing still a way of life. She is a member of the female Ensemble Sathanao who have researched and revived ancient chants, discovered in early 19th century transcriptions and on the edge of extinction.

Nana has taken her research further and this time will talk about the healing powers of polyphonic music that are being rediscovered in modern-day therapy and medical practice.  She will describe, and illustrate, how Georgian polyphony played a traditional role in daily life as healing rituals to ensure the welfare of the individual, family and the village group. This is now seen as offering many lessons for us today. 

Where: The Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ

When: Tuesday 24th February 2015 at 7.00pm 

To reserve a place you must email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as places are limited.

The BGS Georgian Christmas Party will take place at 7.00pm on Friday 9th January 2015, at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, W14 8EZ. Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 31st December 2014. Christmas Party 2015

Rustaveli and ShakespeareBGS and the Georgian Society of University College London are pleased to announce that Professor Elguja Khintibidze, Academian of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, Head of the Institute of History of Georgian Literature, Tbilisi State University is giving a lecture:

Rustaveli’s “THE MAN IN THE PANTHER SKIN - A LITERARY SOURCE OF SHAKESPEARE AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES”

The lecture is based on research Professor Khintibidze has carried out into early connections between Georgia and England and the potential transmissions of ideas and sources between the two countries.

Thursday 13th November 2014 at 8.00pm

Anatomy Building G29 J Z Young Lecture Theatre, UCL Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT 

Georgian wine and nibbles will be provided afterwards. 

The event is free to attend but please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to attend.

Women From GeorgiaBGS is pleased to announce a special fundraising event supporting women's rights in Georgia on Friday 21st November at 6.30pm. With the Women's Fund in Georgia, BGS will be presenting a screening of Levan Koguashvili's 2008 documentary Women From Georgia (53 minutes) followed by an open discussion moderated by BBC journalist Natia Abramia. There will also be a short talk by Bella Radenovic on the creation of the myth of Tamar Mepe (Tamar the King), Queen of Georgia from 1160 - 2013. Bella will speak about the discrepancies between the way Tamar Mepe is presented in historical writing and in visual culture. She will touch upon the folk traditions pertaining to Tamar as well as how Georgians see her today in relation to gender identity.The evening will be accompanied by Georgian wine and canapés. Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, W14 8EZ. 

Women From Georgia

Many of us will be horrified by this documentary featuring the everyday life of immigrant women working illegally 24/7 to support their families back in Georgia. However, at the same time, we will be presenting a new book by one of the most successful Georgian immigrant female artists, Eteri Chkadua (Bakur Sulakauri Publishing, 2013). Eteri’s book will be on sale along with her postcards to raise money for the ‘Women’s Fund'

Women From Georgia

For information about Eteri Chkadua click here

The mission of the Women's Fund in Georgia is empowering women in Georgia for protection of their rights, full self-realization and participation in society's life through providing financial and technical support, capacity building and development of feminist philanthropy. For further information about the Women's Fund in Georgia click here

Bella Radenovic studied History of Art and Architecture at Cambridge before taking an MA in Byzantium and its Rivals at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She plans to pursue doctoral research in medieval visual culture.

Women From Georgia

We are very grateful to the Georgian Embassy for hosting this event and to Mako Abashidze of BGCC for providing Georgian wine.

The event is free to attend. DONATIONS  ARE  WELCOME  BUT  NOT  A MUST. 

RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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. 

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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.

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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