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.

Oliver BulloughAbkhazia 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.

 

 

News

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. 

In Bloom (Grdzeli nateli dgheebi) Premiere on Curzon Home Cinema 8 April 2014

For the first time in the UK, Birds Eye View Film Festival brings you a festival Premiere to your home. The opening night and UK Premiere of the Georgian film IN BLOOM will also be available to watch on demand, screening online on the same day on Curzon Home Cinema, for one day only. This will happen on Tuesday 8th of April. 

This is an opportunity for people who don’t live in London to be able to watch the film and really hope it’s of interest to you and your community. If you can’t attend the physical screening, this is not a problem anymore. Get together with your friends or family and enjoy the film together, on the same night of the Premiere, from home!

About In Bloom: Tblisi, 1992: as civil war rages in the newly independent state, 14 year-old best friends Eka and Natia just want to talk gossip, music and boys. But as insecurity and fear overcome everyday life, their childhoods come to an abrupt halt in this multi-award-winning, semi-autobiographical drama. 

The film will be available to watch online from this page, visible from April 8th: http://www.curzoncinemas.com/film_on_demand/

Find out more about the event here and download a pdf

Sports News

Rugby World Cup 2015

… Georgia qualified on Saturday by beating Russia 36-10 in Tbilisi and will now fight out the top qualification slot with Romania.

Football EURO 2016

… highlights of the qualifying draw made on Sunday include the following (Group D):

Saturday 7 September 2014 Georgia v Republic of Ireland

Saturday 11 October 2014 Scotland v Georgia

Friday 4 September 2015 Georgia v Scotland

Monday 7 September 2015 Republic of Ireland v Georgia.

The other teams in the group are Germany, Poland and Gibraltar.

Georgia: Culture in the High Caucasus with Tony Anderson

19-28 September 2014 At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia is a country that lives up to its reputation as a wild frontier. The landscape is dominated by the beautiful High Caucasus  - a thrilling canvas for walkers and climbers, whilst the lush countryside of the lower valleys are wonderfully rich and colourful.

Join this cultural journey into the heart of Georgia with author and expert guide Tony Anderson.  Tony has long been interested in the Caucasus, writing Bread & Ashes, A Walk through the Mountains of Georgia; an exploration of the history and culture of Georgia, and editing ‘Conflict in the Caucasus’; an analysis of the forces at work in the build up to the Abkhaz conflict of 1992-1994. His soon to be published book ‘British Travellers to Georgia’ (Eland Press) is sure to be a must amongst all travellers alike. Having led many groups all over the country, Tony will undoubtedly enliven and enrich the tour with his knowledge and experience. 

For more information click here.

Georgian Language Classes at UCL with Keti Kalandadze

Keti Kalandadze will be teaching Georgian in the Bloomsbury Theatre Building, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1 0AH, at UCL from the 24th September 2013. 

Classes will take place on:

Tuesday room 105 at 7.00pm, Wednesday room 105 at 7.00pm and Thursday room 204 at 7.30pm 

For further details contact Keti on 07525 437850 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Georgia's Judo Triumph

Georgia narrowly defeated Russia to win Gold in the men's team event in the recent World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro.