British Georgian Society is delighted to announce a second tour of the British Library, followed by a presentation of the Georgian Collection, most kindly organised by Anna Chelidze and her colleagues. The last tour and presentation was a great success, absolutely fascinating and a privileged insight into the workings of the Library and a close examination of its Georgian Collection. It is absolutely essential to book early as the maximum number per group is 15 (on a first come first served basis and BGS members only) – though we might be able to organise a subsequent tour if over-subscribed. The British Library has most generously allowed us to come free of charge.

Thursday 22nd October at 4.00pm. RSVPs essential by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nino MakharadzeBritish Georgian Society is delighted to invite you to a rare opportunity to come and meet prominent ethnomusicologist Professor Nino Makharadze of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire and Ilia University on Tuesday 11th August at 7.00pm in the Georgian Embassy.

Nino is in the UK to present her paper at the Third Biennial Conference on Christian Congregation Music: Local and Global Perspectives in Ripon College, Oxford. She is the author of several publication, more then 50 scientific articles and well known for her collection of Georgian Cradle Songs.

There will be a 10-15 minute presentation on Georgian Womens' traditional folk music and afterwards Nino will teach two songs including dance. No previous singing or dancing experience required and men and women are welcome. 

The workshop is free of charge but donation will be appreciated to cover the cost. Georgian wine and snacks will be provided.

7.00pm at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London, W14 8EZ. Nearest station is Kensington Olympia.

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

The Academy of ArtsBGS is delighted to welcome Clementine Cecil, Director of SAVE Britain's Heritage, SAVE Europe's Heritage and Chairman of the Moscow Architectural Preservation Society, for this talk on the Campaign to Save Tbilisi's Historic Buildings. She will discuss the threats to historic Tbilisi, show how the reports of SAVE & MAPS (Moscow Architectural Preservation Society) can be used as a campaign tool, and tell us how some of the successful campaigns using such reports have been waged in Moscow, in Russia and in the UK.

Clem Cecil was the Moscow Correspondent for The Times (2001-2004) & co-founder of MAPS which she has chaired since 2012. She has written reports on the Architectural Heritage of Samara, St. Petersburg and Moscow, & writes freelance for The Times on Russia, Architecture and Conservation. She is currently working on a City Guide to Moscow and a report on rural Russian churches under threat. She is also an enthusiastic member of the Tbilisi Heritage Group. She is a tremendous advocate for the conservation of historic buildings, helped to lead SAVE's campaign to save Smithfield Market (www.savebritainsheritage.org) and is a most engaging speaker. SAVE has been described  as "the most influential conservation group to have been established since William Morris founded the Society for the Protection Ancient Buildings over a century ago".

Georgian wines will be served! Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday 10th March, 7pm at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ

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.

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News

5th Anniversary BGS Cambridge Seminar 12th June 2017

H.E. Levan Izoria, Minister of Defence of Georgia will be the keynote speaker at the 2017 BGS Cambridge Seminar at Pembroke College

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

Stand Up For Georgia

BGS director Denis Corboy contributed to a report published today (6th January 2016) for US News and World Report, on the current state of Georgian democracy and prospects for the economy. This generally positive reassessment is a welcome and upbeat note to start the New Year, hoping that this optimism is justified and can be maintained throughout 2016. Here is a link to the article or you can downloaded it as a pdf here

Makhmalbaf's The President released in the UK

Mohsen Makhmalbaf's latest film The President was shot in Georgia with Georgian actors. It is being released in the UK on August 21st and here is a pdf with the details.