BGS is delighted to be holding a talk by the British Ambassador to Tbilisi on Monday 20th May 2013, at 6.30pm, in the UCL Bedford Way building

Ambassador David Moran arrived as Charge d'Affaires to Georgia in January 2013. His previous Ambassadorial appointments have included Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as postings to Nairobi, Moscow and Paris.  

The talk will take place in Room 305 on the third floor of the UCL Building, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0DS, which is on the South-West corner of Tavistock Square.

Georgian wine will be served after the talk. 

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Anthea Nicholson

BGS is pleased to host the London book launch of Anthea Nicholson’s debut novel ‘BGS is pleased to host the book launch of Anthea Nicholson’s debut novel ‘The Banner of the Passing Clouds’ on Thursday, April 25 at 7.00pm, at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London, W14 8EZ, just two weeks after its official publication by Granta. 

The publisher, Philip Gwyn Jones, will give a short introduction, after which Anthea Nicholson will be reading extracts from her book. Good home-made Georgian wine and Georgian snacks will be provided afterwards. 

Anthea Nicholson is a writer and visual artist who lives between England and Tbilisi in Georgia.  

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Anthea Nicholson’s The Banner of the Passing Clouds gives an extraordinary insight into living under communism in Georgia before independence and vividly describes life in Tbilisi. Its narrator, who is born on the day Stalin dies, is given Stalin's name by hospital nurses – Iosif Dzhugashvili. When Iosif learns of his strange link to the 'man of steel', he becomes convinced that Stalin has found a new dwelling place within his chest, a burden he both welcomes and fears.  In Iosif, Nicholson has created a unique and compelling narrator: a victim of the regime, which dictates all aspects of his and his family's life, who is also complicit in its ideology and practises. As an unquestioning citizen of communism, he is disconcertingly meddlesome, yet he remains a curiously pathetic and moving figure. It is only when Iosif unwittingly destroys his family's happiness that some kind of redemption for him is possible.

‘The Banner of the Passing Clouds is marked by an almost uncanny insight into its historical time and place. All is rendered with poignant clarity. There is a deep and hard-won compassion at work in this book, a compassion that is a kind of wisdom’ Anne Michaels, author, Fugitive Pieces

‘Nicholson is a writer of extraordinary lyrical gifts. The Banner of the Passing Clouds is gripping and profoundly moving’ Gerard Woodward

‘A tale that suggests how naked we are when the mighty ideologies around us fall... manages to be at once epic and claustrophobic, and, above all, entrancing’ Samantha Harvey, author, Wilderness

Georgian CrossBGS is delighted to welcome Professor Rudi Matthee from the University of Delaware for our first annual BGS Rustaveli Lecture at the Royal Asiatic Society, 14 St Stephenson Way, NW1 2HD, at 7pm.

Free admission for members of BGS or RAS. Non members will be charged £5 (including Georgian wine and canapes). This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mimino

One of the most established Georgian restaurants in London, Mimino off High St Kensington, will sponsor food. 

In the course of the sixteenth century the rulers of Safavid Iran incorporated much of the southern Caucasus, including the lowlands of Georgia, into their realm. This conquest had momentous repercussions for Georgia as well as for Iran. 

At 4pm on Tuesday 26th February there will be a special visit to the British Library for members of the British Georgian Society meeting at the BL main entrance. Those attending will be welcomed by Janet Zmroczek, Head of European Studies, and then given an exclusive guided tour of the British Library. This will be followed by a presentation from the Georgian curator Anna Chelidze, and an opportunity to explore the BL Georgian collection. The presentation will focus on: the star items of the Georgian collection - highlights from which include medieval manuscripts, early printed books and rare newspapers published by émigrés after the establishment of Soviet power; important avant-garde journals from the 1920s; and early gramophone recordings made in Tbilisi 1901-1914. The visit will last approximately two and a half hours and refreshments will be available from the British Library cafe. 

There are only 30 places available for this event and places will be given on a first come first served basis to members emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Will There be a Theatre Up There?Will There be a Theatre Up There? (Netavi iq Teatri aris?!) 2011. 55min. Georgian with English subtitles. 

Nana Janelidze's award winning documentary has one of the most popular Georgian actors Kakhi Kavsadze, as the main character of the film. But it is not just about an actor, and chronicles the life ordeals of a big family - the Kavsadzes, a family of great folk singers - which reflects the lives of millions who lived in the former USSR.

Nana Janelidze

Born 1955 in Tbilisi, Nana Janelidze graduated from the Georgian State Theatric and Cinema Institute (Master class of Tengiz Abuladze) in 1981. Subsequently worked with Abuladze as script writer and music-designer on the film Repentance. She was awarded the Russian Cinema Academy Prize for the script of the film Nika (which was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes XXXX International Film Festival). She was also awarded the State Prize of Georgia and Jakob Gogebashvili pedagogical prize for her film Lullaby.

2010 The Knights of Georgian Chant / Galobis Raindebi (doc.), 2005 Cristmas Gift / Sashobao Sachukari (short), 2003 Dreams of the Dry Bridge / Mshrali Khidis Sizmrebi (short), 2002 One Drop of Georgia / Erti Tsveti Sakartvelo (doc.), 1998 Lullaby / Iavnana, 1985 The Family / Ojakhi (short), 1978 A Big Boy and a Little Boy /Didi bichi da patara bichi (short)

Tuesday 12th February 2013, at 7pm, Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ.

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The next BGS film screening at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, W14 8EZ, is on Wednesday 23rd January, 6.45pm for 7pm start.  Wanted: Marjory and Oliver directed by Giorgi Levashov-Tumanishvili is a British and Georgian co-production made in 1989 (95 minutes).  The film was first screened on Channel 4 and is in Georgian (with English subtitles) and English. Actress Alex Kingston visits Georgia searching for Marjory and Oliver Wardrop, who at the turn of the 20th century became heroes of Georgia. For a fuller description of the Wardrops please see the BGCC website.

As the BGS has historic links with the Wardrops, and as we have just celebrated 100 years since the first publication of ‘The Knight in the Panther Skin’ in the UK (1912), this seems a particularly appropriate screening. 

We are very pleased that director Giorgi Levashov-Tumanishvili will be present to introduce the film and the distinguished Channel 4 Commissioning Editor and producer David Rose will also be present. As one of the most influential film producers in British Television and having collaborated with Levashov-Tumanishvili on various projects, Rose will recall filming in Georgia in the 1990s. This was the first project that they collaborated on and was followed by a feature film Lucky Village (1993). 

They are also in the process of finishing another film Ready to Live which we hope to show in the next BGS film festival in September 2013. 

       We are pleased to announce the BGS Georgian Christmas event on
Tuesday January 8th 2013, 6.30pm, at the GEORGIAN EMBASSY, 4 Russell
Gardens, London W14 8EZ

        Professor DONALD RAYFIELD will be talking about the great Georgian
writer OTAR CHILADZE, who died in 2009.

        Donald has recently finished the translation of 'A MAN WAS GOING DOWN
THE ROAD' to be published in December 2012, and 'AVELUM' to be
published in April 2013. Hardback copies of 'A Man Was
Going Down the Road' will be available at a 25% discount to members (i.e. £12
instead of £16).

        His talk will be followed by a short presentation about regional
differences in the celebration of Georgian Christmas with Georgian
wine and special seasonal snacks.

       There will be a small charge of £7 per person for this event to cover the cost of the seasonal fare. RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BGS member Dr Nick Bezhanishvili, who was at Imperial College London and is now at the University of Utrecht, will give a talk on the historical development of mathematical logic in Georgia. At the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ, Tuesday 11th December, 6.30pm.

This fascinating illustrated talk is now available to downlaod as a pdf.

Keep SmilingAs a 'taster' for the 3rd London BGS Georgian Film Festival 2013 and for the last screening of this year, BGS will show Rusudan Chkonia's successful 2012 debut feature Keep Smiling (Gaigimet) for members only. Having had much recognition at various festivals including Venice Days 2012 (a parallel programme to the Venice Festival) the film has been selected as the Georgian entry for the Academy Awards Foreign Language nomination.

Keep Smiling is a black comedy with dramatic events taking place during a beauty contest. There are 10 mothers, half of whom are from the poorest section of society, and between them have a large number of children. They are all after the main prize of an apartment and $25,000 USD. 91 minutes. Georgian/French/Luxemburg co-production.

Wednesday 5th December, Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ, 7pm.

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British Library 100 years of Rustaveli in English

 

 

 

As the final event  of our celebration of 100 years of Rustaveli in English, David Gigauri and Anna Chelidze have organised the following event at the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, Friday 30th November, from 5.30pm to 9pm.

Epic Poetry East and West: Rustaveli & His Contemporaries

Welcome by Janet Zmroczek (Head of European Studies, BL) and HE Giorgi Badridze (Georgian Ambassador)
Paper 1 'The Epic Traditions in Medieval France and Spain' Dr Geoff West (Head Hispanic Collections, British Library)
Paper 2 'Shahnameh & Persian Epic Poetry' Prof Charles Melville (Professor of Persian History, University of Cambridge)
Paper 3 'Rustaveli the Poet and Medieval Georgia' Aka Morchiladze (Georgian writer and literary historian)
Followed by a discussion and reception with Georgian wine and songs from the Maspindzeli Choir

Download pdf for more information. Tickets at £7.50 available from the British Library box office

Ukrainian airlines

 

 

     Ukranian airlines

Sponsored by Ukrainian International Airways who have also made some exclusive offers on flights to BGS members. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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.

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