BGS Seminar Cambridge 2016

Please register with Eventbrite to guarantee a place

Clare College Seminar 2016 Friday 10th June 2016 from 13.30

Keynote speaker Minister of Defence of Georgia, Tinatin Khidasheli:

"Foreign and Security Policy Priorities in 2016 - Georgia's Perspective" 

Register with Eventbrite, BGS members and students of Clare College free. Others £5

Nino's BookJoin us for the launch of Sarah Cobham’s new novel Nino’s Song on Thursday 28th April at the Georgian Embassy in London.                                                                                                                                                      

Sarah Leah Cobham writes about her relationship with Georgian people, their songs and their culture as she travels through this unique and enigmatic country.  Nino’s Song explores, through the multi genre styles of poetry, diary writing and reflective narrative, how the original and powerful voice of St. Nino continue to resonate in the present day.

As part of the evening you will be invited to explore what lies within Nino’s Box, and, as part of a poetry writing workshop you will be encouraged to find your own voice and to share your work with others.

After a book presentation and Q&A by the author there will be a chance to explore the themes raised by the book over a glass of Georgian Wine. To attend this event please register with Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ninos-song-book-launch-at-the-georgian-embassy-tickets-24371123687 


 

Sarah Leah Cobham has been involved with Georgia for the past 7 years and is a founding member of The Northern Georgian Society. She has sung Georgian music for 9 years and is a core member of the Yorkshire based choir, Samzeo. She is the Writer in Residence at the Well Women Centre in Wakefield, is a 2014 Red Shed Poetry Post Code Winner and has works published in the international literary magazine Margutte, in Our Queer Art, a platform for Gender Issues and in local and national print press.

WHEN
WHERE
Embassy of Georgia - 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ, United Kingdom - View Map

The presentation at the 2016 BGS Supra will be by Peter Nasmyth and about the proposed National Trust of Georgia. Please note that tickets are available through Eventbrite and need to be obtained in advance. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/annual-bgs-supra-at-the-little-georgia-tickets-23178902722  

The 2016 British Georgian Society Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 15th February in the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens W14 8EZ, at 6.30pm. All members will have been emailed the Notice, 2015 Accounts and biographies of the 4 candidates that the board is proposing as new directors. This is an opportunity for members to meet with the directors and candidates Natia Abramia, Maximilian Hess, Bella Radenovic-Tsulukidze and Thomas de Waal. There will also be two very interesting talks by H E Revaz Gachechiladze and Peter Dodge. The ambassador will give a valedictory talk and Peter Dodge will recall the exploits of the Georgian rugby team in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. There will be wine and nibbles to follow.

Revaz Gachechiladze      

Georgian Embassy at 6.30-8.00pm 7th January 2016 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ

Alex Rondeli (7th January 1942–12th June 2015) was a brilliant, charismatic and inspirational figure whose love and knowledge of Georgia was without equal. A leading political scientist and expert on international affairs, Alex founded the highly respected and influential think tank GFSIS in 1998. As a distinguished orientalist and expert on Iran, a well-known public figure, an important foreign policy adviser to Georgian governments, the first port of call for foreign journalists and politicians and a hugely popular teacher to successive generations of Georgian high-flyers his legacy and impact on Georgia’s developing western orientation through 25 years of independence are immense. 

‘I was born on January 7th, during the cold and dramatic winter of 1942. My mother was like Mother Mary because, according to the Orthodox calendar, this is Christmas Day, so she delivered me into this world at a very special moment.

My mother hated Stalin and everything having to do with him. In 1937, during the Great Purge, her parents and brother had been taken away and shot. I had an older brother, but now she thought she might like a daughter and became pregnant.

Then, on 22 June 1941, Hitler attacked. My mother went to see her sister and asked her what to do. "Don't have a baby now," she said. "There's war." But the propagandists claimed that the Soviet army would never have to fight the enemy on its own territory – so she thought the war would not be very serious because the Germans would soon be pushed back. So it is thanks to Stalin's propaganda that I was born!’

The beginning of an interview for ESI September 2008 

In 1976-77 Alex Rondeli was a research fellow at the London School of Economics, staying with his mother’s cousin Tamara Osborn (nee Amirejibi). UK Ambassador HE Revaz Gachechiladze (who was a close childhood friend), HE Natalie Sabanadze (EU Ambassador and one of Alex’s favourite students) and Jason Osborn invite you to raise a glass... Please contact Jason Osborn on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to attend.

BGS Rustaveli Talk at RAS

FROM SACRED TO SECULAR AND BACK AGAIN: A (VERY) BRIEF HISTORY OF RELIGION IN GEORGIAN POLITICAL THOUGHT

A talk by Nikoloz Aleksidze, Junior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford University, and a Research Associate with the History Faculty. 

25th November 2015 at 18.30 Royal Asiatic Society 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD

Followed by a Georgian wine reception. If you wish to attend please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thomas de Waal

On Wednesday 9 December Thomas de Waal, author, journalist, and internationally renowned expert on the Caucasus, will give a talk to the BGS at King's College London (KCL) on "Georgia's zig-zag democracy". The talk will begin at 18.15 in the Pyramid Room at KCL.

If you would like to attend please contact Keti Kalandadze on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Places are limited and interested members are asked to RSVP promptly. The first 35 to respond will be included for this event.

Thomas de Waal is a nonresident senior associate with Carnegie Europe, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. From 2010-2015 he worked for the Carnegie Endowment in Washington DC.

He is the author of numerous publications about the region. His most recent book is Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is also the author of the authoritative book on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War (NYU Press, second edition 2013) and of The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010). De Waal has worked extensively as a journalist and writer in the Caucasus and Black Sea region and in Russia, for the BBC, The Times and other outlets. He studied Russian and Modern Greek at Oxford University.

John Allan with Lubetkin, 1989From the Caucasus to Clifton – the Adventures of Berthold LubetkinAn illustrated talk by John Allan on Tuesday 3rd November, at the RIBA in the Lasdun Room, 66 Portland Place, Marylebone, London W1B 1AD. Doors open at 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

Berthold Lubetkin, born in Tiflis in 1901, became the leading architect of his generation to practise in England, receiving the Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 1982 with many of his buildings now being listed. Lubetkin’s early life in Russia and direct experience of the Revolution implanted expectations and an artistic vision that would sustain him for the rest of his life. His belief in building design as an instrument of social progress was expressed in a determined pursuit of technical innovation and a profound appreciation of architecture’s formal disciplines and emotive power. John Allan will tell the story of Lubetkin’s journey from his origins in the Causcasus to the vanguard of the modern movement in England in the 1930s, narrating his achievements in post-war practice and eventual retirement to Clifton in Bristol, where he died in 1990. The talk will seek to explain why Berthold Lubetkin’s life and work still remain an inspirational example to many architects and students the world over.

John Allan is a practising architect who knew Lubetkin personally for 20 years, publishing his biography in 1992. He is a leading figure in the conservation of modern architecture and has worked on many of Lubetkin’s buildings including the famous Penguin Pool at London Zoo, the Highpoint flats in Highgate and Finsbury Health Centre – all listed Grade I. 

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

 

Ikalto Academy Ruins British Georgian Society is delighted to welcome Professor Emma Loosley for this illustrated talk on the 13 Syrian Fathers, so central to the story of Christianity in Georgia and greatly venerated in Georgia to this day.

Georgian Monasticism is traditionally believed to have been founded by thirteen monks from Syria who travelled to Kartli in the early sixth century and then spread across Kartli and Kakheti with their followers founding monasteries in the remote mountains and deserts of the region. They are referred to in the sources as the Thirteen Syrian or Assyrian Fathers, but recent revisionist scholarship has tried to prove that these mysterious figures were Georgians all along. Can we find any concrete evidence for these (As)Syrian Fathers - and why are some scholars so keen to try and reclaim these monks as ethnic Georgians? Photo of the ruins of Ikalto Academy, situated a few miles west of Telavi. Part of the monastery founded by Saint Zenon, one of the 13 Syrian fathers, in the late 6th century.

Professor Emma Loosley has been Associate Professor of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter since April 2013 and is currently the director of a European Research Council funded project entitled Architecture and Asceticism: Cultural Interaction between Syria and Georgia in Late Antiquity that seeks to explore the relationship between Syria and Georgia in the fourth to seventh centuries AD. She previously spent nine years teaching early Christian and Islamic Art at the University of Manchester and was the founder of two archaeological missions to Late Antique sites in Syria before her work in the region was suspended due to the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War.

Wednesday 18th November 2015 at 6.30pm at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London, W14 8EZ Nearest station is Kensington Olympia.

please confirm if you are attending by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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News

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. 

Tbilisi named in top ten of European Holiday Destinations

TimeOut has named Tbilisi as number 6 in Top Ten European destinations in 2015

Articles in the Guardian in July 2015

This month there have been various contrasting articles on Georgia in the Guardian:

The Tragedy of Tbilisi Zoo

William Boyd's Holiday Read translated by Donald Rayfield

Georgia accuses Russia of Territorial Violation

Nikoloz Basilashvili's Wimbledon debut

After a successful Wimbledon debut, Georgia's Nicoloz Basilashvili is likely to break into the top 100. Georgia Today

Emergency Appeal for Funds after June 13 Tbilisi Floods

Following hours of rain on the night of June 13th and 14th, a major landslide dammed up the Vere river 20 kilometres southwest of Tbilisi. The resultant floods caused severe damage to Tbilisi Zoo and nearby houses and roads. There were significant fatalities and injuries, many families were left homeless and animals who escaped from the zoo were seen loose on the streets of Tbilisi. There are various events taking place to help raise money for the massive clean up operation after the disaster.

UCL Aid For Tbilisi Floods on 25th June at 6.30pm  

Katie Melua and Friends in Aid of recent Tbilisi Flood Victims on 26th June at 7pm  

Tamada Restaurant on June 28th from 1pm 

There is also the specially formed Tbilisi Hippo Fund 

Alexander Rondeli 7 June 1942 - 12 June 2015

Dr Alexander Rondeli was one of Georgia's most respected figures and much admired in Georgia and throughout the world. He was a leading political analyst and foreign policy adviser, academic and writer, mentor and ambassador for those who came to Georgia since independence, and an inspiration to so many who took his influential and popular classes at the Tbilisi State University. In 1998 he helped found the highly respected think tank, the Georgian Foundation of Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) with the aim of "helping improve public policy decision-making in Georgia through research and analysis, training of policymakers and policy analysts, and public education about the strategic issues, both domestic and international, facing Georgia and the Caucasus". He was a man of charisma and passion and his insights, wisdom and humour will be sorely missed. Condolences

David Dondua to give Keynote Address at BGS Cambridge Seminar 2015

The First Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, H.E. David Dondua will give the keynote address - Georgia-Regional Challenges and Opportunities - at the 3rd Annual BGS Cambridge Seminar to be held in the Old Library, Pembroke College on Friday, 12th June 2015 (2pm - 6.30pm). For further details look at 3rd Annual BGS Cambridge Seminar 12 June 2015 or here is a pdf

Tangerines (Mandariinid) screening 30 April

After the screening of the OSCAR nominated film Tangerines directed by Zaza Urashadze, there will be a short discussion about the film and also about Corn Island. Screened last month, Corn Island directed by George Ovashvili and was on the short list of 9 films considered for the best foreign language OSCAR nomination 2015. BGS Embassy Screening Tangerines 30 April