Richard Lewington: A Personal View of My Year with the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia - 3 October 2012
The Chatham House Russia and Eurasia Programme and British Georgian Society are holding an expert roundtable with Richard Lewington Wednesday 3 October 2012:
A Personal View of My Year with the EU Monitoring Mission
at Chatham House, 10 St James's Square, London, SW1Y 4LE 16:00 until 17:30 (coffee at 15:45).
The European Union's engagement in the conflicts of the South Caucasus has often been criticised for being neither sufficiently visible nor consistent in its approach. The EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia was established following the August 2008 war to help stabilise the situation on the ground. The Mission's observation and reporting activities have faced several problems, lack of access to to Abkhazian and South Ossetian territory among them. Richard Lewington will discuss the objectives, the achievements and the failures of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the challenges posed by state and non-state actors in the region. He will speak for approximately 15 minutes, followed by an hour for questions and discussion.
Richard Lewington worked with the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia between August 2011 and August 2012. He joined the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1967 and his postings included Mongolia, Peru, the Soviet Union, Israel and Yugoslavia. He served as British Ambassador to Kazakhstan (1999-2002) and to Ecuador (2002-2006). From 2007 to 2009, he was Chief Technical Adviser on Tajikistan for the EU Border Management and Drug Action Programmes in Central Asia (BOMCA/ CADAP).
A transcript of the meeting will be available shortly.
First Swallows (Pirveli Mertskhali) Embassy Screening 17 October 2012
Kew Gardens Guided Tour and Lectures on Caucasian Flora 21 September 2012
A rare opportunity to receive a guided tour specific to the plants of Georgia and the Caucasus presented by official Kew guides. This will be followed by a double lecture at the Jodrell Theatre; the first by Clare Trivedi of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership Kew who will update us on the important Seed Bank preservation work in Georgia (following on from the excellent BGS talks given by her and Guy Moore last year). The second is by Tinatin Barbishvili a botanist from the National Botanic Garden of Georgia, currently being hosted by Kew.
We will meet at Kew’s Orangery Restaurant (near the Main Gate) at 2pm ready for a 2.30 tour departure around the gardens (maximum of 15 per group). Afterwards we will be escorted over to the Jodrell Theatre for the two illustrated lectures.
Some members may want to come earlier, visit the gardens themselves then congregate at the Orangery restaurant around 1pm for lunch.
Peter Nasmyth, who will be there for lunch, will collect the £4 fees between 2 and 2.30pm.
Remember that Kew has four entrances and the walk from the Victoria Gate (nearest Kew Gardens station) to the Orangery is a good 10/15 minutes.
A standard day ticket is required for entrance into the gardens. Price for an adult is £14.50. Concessions are available.
A Chef In Love (1996) Nana Jorjadze 5th July 2012
A Chef In Love (Shekvarebuli kulinaris ataserti retsepti) is the only Georgian film to receive an Oscar nomination. There are two great central performances by Nino Kirtadze, making her screen debut, and Pierre Richard as the larger than life chef and bon vivant, traveling to Georgia to find new culinary delights and inspirations in the early 1920s. He falls in love with a beautiful Georgian princess (Kirtadze) and then this wonderfully romantic, sensual and comic story becomes intertwined with historic events as the Red Army take power in Tbilisi. Told as a series of flashbacks from the present the film is in French, Georgian and Russian with English subtitles, and directed by Nana Jorjadze. 100 mins.
7pm Thursday 5th July Georgian Embassy 4 Russell Gardens London W14 8EZ
Tao Klarjeti - Legacy & Perception Illustrated talk by Irene Giviashvili 28 June 2012
An illustrated talk will be given at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand at 6pm on Thursday, June 28 by Irene Giviashvili (Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art, History and Heritage Preservation). Followed by glass of Georgian wine.
The term Tao-Klarjeti was used by 20th century Georgian scholars to describe the mediaeval Georgian provinces in modern North-Eastern Turkey and the related cultural heritage.
Tao-Klarjeti was a cradle of Christianity and of Georgian statehood and its cultural renaissance in the Middle Ages. In modern times it has remained a place of spiritual inspiration, which no-one could visit from the Soviet Union until the borders were reopened between Georgia and Turkey in 1992. Thousands of tourists now come every year to visit monuments like Oshki, Bana, Parkhali, Khakhuli, Otkhta Eklesia, Ishkani, Khantsta, Doliskhana …
Lundi Matin (2002) Otar Iosseliani 7th June 2012
Lundi Matin (Monday Morning) 120 mins, written and directed by Otar Iosseliani with Jaques Bidou, Anne Kravz-Tarnavsky and Narda Blanchet, won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 2002 and a FIPRESCI prize for Iosseliani's "very professional and elegant protrayal of the absurdity and boredom of every day life".
This is one of Iosselliani most poetic recent films and is as well an homage to french film not forgetting it was made before the Rose Revolution.The film is in French, Italian and Romanian with English subtitles.
The screening will take place on Thursday June 7th at 7.00pm at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ.
Future dates for screenings at the Embassy in 2012 are Thursday July 5th, Thursday September 20th, Wednesday October 17th and Wednesday 12th December.
Prospect of Georgian Elections and Beyond - Talk by HE Judith Gough 8 May 2012
Georgian wine courtesy of Helen Smith of Gaumarjos will be provided.
Rustaveli and the Wardrop Heritage 6 May 2012
For further details on the event please download PDF or see Times and Directions. BGS plans to have further events later in the year to celebrate 100 years of Rustaveli in English. With thanks to Colchis Restaurant, The Georgian Cafe, GeoWines.co.uk and Deliverme.co.uk. Thanks also to BGS director David Gigauri for organising this event.
Salt White (Marilivit tetri) Film screening at Embassy 29 March 2012
Keti Machavariani's stunningly shot debut feature traces the intersecting peregrinations of three characters in a Georgian summertime resort on the Black Sea. Virtually plotless, Machavariani's film eschews all backstory, her characters' experiences inferred from their weary or defiantly deadpan faces. But the camera finds beauty in their passage: in the long-limbed walk of the waitress trekking from her daytime restaurant job to her nighttime bar gig, in the workaday rounds of an exiled Abkhazian cop, and in the breathless run of a homeless teenage girl, pursued by police. Prime fest fare, the insistent images signal a director to watch. Ronnie Scheib in Variety
A Gia Bazgadze, Levan Korinteli, Jaga Grip production with the support of the Georgian National Film Center. Produced by Gia Bazgadze, Levan Korinteli, Jaga Grip. Co-producer, Constantine Rizhinahsvili. Directed, written by Keti Machavariani. With: Nino Koridze, Gagi Svanidze, Fea Tsivadze, George Kipshidze. Georgian, 2011, English sub-titles, 80 mins.
Thursday March 29 at 7pm, Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ
Abkhazia - A Lost Paradise Talk by Oliver Bullough 25 April 2012
Award winning author and journalist Oliver Bullough will give a BGS talk on Wednesday 25 April, 6.30pm at UCL Bedford Way Building, Room 305. 26 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AP. Georgian wine will be provided after the talk.
Abkhazia is one of two bits of Soviet Georgia that declared independence after the collapse of communism. Although its independence has only been recognised by half-a-dozen countries -- among them, of course, Russia -- it is enough to prevent Tbilisi having any influence over what happens there.
So what is the root of the stand-off? Why do both Abkhaz and Georgians have such strong claims to ownership of this stretch of the Black Sea coast? Oliver Bullough has spent months in Abkhazia studying the history and traces the tale back to its origins.
Oliver Bullough is a journalist and author who specialises in the Caucasus. His book Let Our Fame be Great tells the history of the Russian conquest of the mountains, while his day job is to edit the Caucasus service of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. He is from Wales, studied history at Oxford University, and lived in Russia for seven years. He now lives in east London with his wife and son.
These events have already taken place.