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 

 


In Bloom at the BFIBGS is delighted to support the UK Premiere of In Bloom (Grdzeli nateli dgheebi), directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross. with Lika Babluani and Mariam BokeriaGeorgia-France-Germany 2013, 102 mins. The director Nana Ekvtimishvili will be at the opening night of the Bird's Eye View Film Festival for a Q & A. Purchase tickets here

Celebrated as a major discovery of the 2013 Berlinale, this beautifully crafted story follows two young girls coming of age in post-Soviet Georgia. As civil war rages in the newly independent state, two 14-year-old best friends just want to talk gossip, music and boys. But as insecurity and fear overcome everyday life, their childhoods come to an abrupt halt in this multi-award-winning, semi-autobiographical drama.

BGS members attending the screening will be invited to the after party, including drinks, dancing, DJs and two young singers from Georgia - Megi and Magda Gagoidze - performing songs from Tusheti. BGS members who have purchased tickets to the screening and wish to attend the after party should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive their invitations. 

BGS is pleased to announce that Roy Reeve (formerly Head of the OSCE Mission in Georgia 2003-2007) will give a talk at King's College London - in the Pyramid Room - on Thursday 24th April, 6.15pm entitled "Conflict resolution - Georgian style: A look back. This will be a joint King's College and British Georgian Society event. King's College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS 

If you would like to attend, please email Keti Kalandadze on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday 21st April.

Roy Reeve is a former diplomat.  He joined the FCO in 1965 as a Soviet specialist in Research Department.  Subsequently served two tours in Moscow (1968-71 and 1978-80), Helsinki and Geneva negotiations on the Helsinki Final Act leading to the founding of the OSCE (1972-75), Belgrade (1976-78) and Northern Ireland (1983-85). Thereafter posted as Deputy Consul General in Johannesburg, Head of Commercial Relations Department in London and Consul General in Sydney. Prior to taking early retirement in 1999, was Ambassador to Ukraine.

Following retirement, he was appointed Head of the OSCE Mission in Yerevan (1999-2003), Head of the OSCE Mission to Georgia (2003-2007), Head of the EU Planning Team in Kosovo and Deputy Head of the EU Rule of Law Mission until finally finally retiring in 2011.

Sandra RoelofsBGS is delighted to welcome Sandra Roelofs, who wrote her autobiography First Lady of Georgia: The Story of an Idealist in 2005. Her talk is called Social And Health Challenges In Georgia. This event which is for BGS members only is now full. 

The Girl King by Meg ClothierBGS is delighted to welcome author and journalist Meg Clothier to talk about her historical novel based on Queen Tamar of Georgia. Monday 24th March at 6.30pm

Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ (nearest station Olympia)

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

Before turning to novel writing Meg studied Classics at Cambridge, spent a year sailing a boat from England to Alaska, and finally got down to work as a journalist, culminating in two years with Reuters in Moscow. Since Random House published The Girl King in 2011, she has divided her time pretty evenly between having two children and writing a second novel, The Empress, which is set in Constantinople during the run-up to the Fourth Crusade.  

"As I wrote The Girl King, my reimagining of Tamar of Georgia as the heroine of a swashbuckling adventure tale, the journalist and academic in me was constantly at war with the novelist. Every time I made a choice between history and storytelling, I pictured myself justifying my decisions to a room full of Georgians. You could say, therefore, that this talk will be my worst nightmare come true … 

The Alpine Club and British Georgian Society are delighted to welcome Vano Vashakmadze for his illustrated talk: The Mountains of Georgia. Tuesday 25th March at 7.30pm (bar opens at 6.00pm).

Kazbek Feb 2013 photographed by Peter NasmythThe Alpine Club, 55 Charlotte Road, London, EC2A 1QF (nearest tube Old Street)

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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.

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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