3rd Annual BGS Cambridge Seminar 12 June 2015

A Talk by Clementine Cecil on the Campaign to Save Tbilisi's Historic Buildings March 10

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

Batumi Raptor Count present an illustrated talk on their work 24 March

Nikolai Marr - a talk by Donald Rayfield 17 February

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.

Read more: Nikolai Marr - a talk by Donald Rayfield 17 February

The Healing Power of Georgian Polyphonic Music – Nana Mzhavanadze 24 February

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.

Christmas Party 9 January 2015 Georgian Embassy

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

Special Lecture on Rustaveli and Shakespeare by Professor Elguja Khintibidze 13 November

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's Fund in Georgia screen Women From Georgia (Qalebi Saqartvelodan) 21 November

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.

Read more: Women's Fund in Georgia screen Women From Georgia (Qalebi Saqartvelodan) 21 November

Influence of Georgian Ancestry and Traditions Abroad 26 November

Rustaveli Day 2014

Read more: Influence of Georgian Ancestry and Traditions Abroad 26 November

BGS Annual General Meeting 2014 5 December

The BGS Annual General Meeting will take place at the Georgian Embassy on 5th December 2014 at 6.30pm. As well as the usual business of the meeting, electing directors and receiving the annual Report and Accounts, we will have two speakers: HE Professor Revaz Gachechiladze, the recently appointed Georgian Ambassador, will give a talk 'Political Situation in and around Georgia'; Peter Dodge, the BGS honorary legal adviser, will give a talk "We're playing Dynamo Tibilski": Personal Reflections of a Sports Fan on Georgia's Place in International Competition. 

As the AGM was non-quorate, the directors will shortly reconvene the meeting to ratify decisions taken. 

More Articles...

  1. Jonathan Djanogly Reflects on the APPG Georgia Visit 2014
  2. Book Launch at Georgian Embassy November 4 2014
  3. BGS Annual Supra 2014 at Little Georgia October 22
  4. Meet the famous Georgian Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili 3 June 2014
  5. The Colour Of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova) 4 June 2014
  6. UK Ambassador to Georgia Briefing to BGS 16 May 2014
  7. Second Annual BGS Seminar at Cambridge 20 June 2014
  8. Herbs and Spices - The Flavours of Georgian Cuisine 28 April 2014
  9. In Bloom (Grdzeli nateli dgheebi) 2013 UK Premiere 8 April 2014
  10. Roy Reeve "Conflict Resolution - Georgian Style: A Look Back." 24 April 2014
  11. Sandra Roelofs talk to BGS members 17 March 2014
  12. The Girl King: from fact to fiction Meg Clothier 24 March 2014
  13. The Mountains of Georgia - Illustrated Talk by Vano Vashakmadze 25 March 2014
  14. Memories Without Borders - film screening and discussion 5 December 2013
  15. BGS AGM 19 November 2013
  16. Medieval Georgia: Researching and Preserving the Royal Wall Paintings of Vardzia 13 October 2014
  17. Maia Naveriani and Maya Sumbadze Exhibition 26 - 30 September 2013
  18. BGS Annual Supra 24 October 2013
  19. Architectural Gems Amid Georgia's Fragile Urban Cultural Heritage 28 February 2014
  20. 3rd London BGS Georgian Film Festival 2013
  21. The Dash Café with BGS special screening of "Lucky Village" July 3 2013
  22. BGS Inaugural Georgia Day at Pembroke College Cambridge
  23. "Georgia - Political Challenges and Constitutional Solutions" address by Speaker David Usupashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia
  24. "Georgia - Halfway Through Cohabitation" a talk by the UK Ambassador to Tbilisi 20 May 2013
  25. The Banner Of The Passing Clouds by Anthea Nicholson 25 April 2013
  26. Safavid Iran and Georgia: How the Dominated Came to Dominate 12 March 2013
  27. BGS members visit to the British Library Georgian collection 26 February 2013
  28. Will There be a Theatre Up There? (Netavi iq Teatri aris?!) 12 February 2013
  29. Giorgi Levashov-Tumanishvili and David Rose 23rd January Georgian Embassy
  30. BGS Christmas Event at the Georgian Embassy 8 January 2013
  31. Logic In Georgia 11 December 2012
  32. Keep Smiling (Gaigimet) Embassy Screening 5 December 2012
  33. Epic Poetry East and West: Rustaveli & His Contemporaries 30 November 2012
  34. Robert Parsons Royal Asiatic Society 30 October 2012
  35. British Georgian Society AGM 27 November 2012
  36. Richard Lewington: A Personal View of My Year with the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia - 3 October 2012
  37. First Swallows (Pirveli Mertskhali) Embassy Screening 17 October 2012
  38. Kew Gardens Guided Tour and Lectures on Caucasian Flora 21 September 2012
  39. A Chef In Love (1996) Nana Jorjadze 5th July 2012
  40. Tao Klarjeti - Legacy & Perception Illustrated talk by Irene Giviashvili 28 June 2012

Subcategories

News

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

Maia Mania's Historic Tbilisi

A number of Maia Mania's evocative prints of beautiful and historic 19th century Tbilisi buildings, are on sale through the BGS website. Please look at the Maia Mania historical Tbilisi prints for sale in the Gallery for some examples and more details. 

Women's Fund in Georgia 21 November event update

BGS is pleased to announce that BBC journalist Natia Abramia will moderate the discussion following the screening of Levan Koguashvili's Women From Georgia. We will also have a short talk by Bella Radenovic on the creation of the myth of Tamara 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. Women's Fund in Georgia screen Women From Georgia (Qalebi Saqartvelodan) 21 November

26th Georgian Studies Day 2014

Georgian Studies Day is designed to bring together delegates from governmental, non-governmental and business circles, academic and communities in order to address all significant issues of Georgia’s political, economic and cultural life. The event will also provide a platform for spreading and sharing of information about participants’ activities.

This year the title of the meeting is Georgia and the future of young people and will be held on Thursday 6th November, at the University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW. Some refreshments will be provided.  

We would be delighted if you could join us. Here is a PDF of the preliminary programme.

The conference room is limited to 80 persons and therefore places will be on a 'first come, first served' basis. We also need to have names of attendees not later than 1 week before the meeting in keeping with the University of  Westminster's security policy.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP to guarantee a place.

Georgian Language Classes in UCL 2014 with Keti Kalandadze

These are the options for those interested in learning the language:

Tuesdays (intermediate class) is held in Kathleen Kenyon Meeting Room, which is on the 2nd Floor of Lewis’s Building, University College London, Gower Street. WC1E 6BT from 7. 00pm-8.00pm. (The knowledge of alphabet and simple conversational experience is necessary)

Wednesdays (complete beginners ) is held in Kathleen Kenyon Meeting Room, which is on the 2nd Floor of Lewis’s Building. University College London, Gower Street. WC1E 6BT from 7.00pm-8.00pm (no knowledge of any Georgian required)

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07525 437 850 or just turn up on the day.

Eduard Shevardnadze dies aged 86

Ex-President Shevardnadze was born 25 January 1928, in the Gurian city of Lanchkhuti. As Soviet Foreign Minister from 1985 until 1990, he became one of Georgia's most internationally known politicians and has said "I'm proud that I had a part in ending the Cold War, in the reunification of Germany, the destruction of nuclear weapons, disarmament". He returned to Georgia in 1992 and was probably more popular abroad than at home but became President of Georgia in 1995 until ousted from power in 2003 in the bloodless Rose Revolution. Although a controversial figure, since his fall from power and retirement he was able to live peacefully in Tbilisi, despite occassional protesters camped outside his residence, until his death after a long illness earlier this week. A book of condolence will be available to sign at the Georgian Embassy, 4 Russell Gardens, London W14 8EZ, from 10am to 3pm on the 10th and 11th of July. For further comment please see the following links: The National InterestBBC

Georgian Language Day in UCL 7 May 2014

You are invited to come and listen to an intriguing talk by esteemed Professor Donald Rayfield on the Georgian Language, followed by a brief presentation on the benefits of studying Georgian. There will be a Q&A at the end.

‘Mysteries and controversies - the Georgian Language’s Origins and Identity’ Professor Donald Rayfield

‘Why I Study Georgian’ Maximilian Hess – Political Analyst AKE Group

Wednesday, 7th May 2014 7.00 - 8.30pm 

Anatomy Gavin de Beer LT, MEDICAL SCIENCES AND ANATOMY BUILDING, GOWER STREET, LONDON, WC1E 6BT

This event is organised together with the UCLU Georgian Society and the Georgian Embassy. If you wish to attend please email Keti Kalandadze on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.