Latest Events

  • Annual General Meeting and talk by Professor Thomas Wier 23 February 2023

    The BGS AGM will take place at 6pm on 23 February 2023 at the Georgian Embassy, 20 St George’s Square, London SW1 2HP

    This meeting is for members only and attendance at the embassy is limited and members should email the secretary Max Hess if they wish to attend in person. The meeting will also be online via zoom:

    ID: 834 7529 1192- Passcode: 24597

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    The meeting will start with Professor Thomas Wier‘s talk “The place of Udi in the Language History of the South Caucasus”. Thomas Wier, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Free University of Tbilisi received his PhD in Linguistics focused on the Georgian Language from the University of Chicago and has lived in Tbilisi for over a decade. His weekly etymologies of Georgian words provide fascinating insights into the development of the language and its history and can be found by following him on Twitter @thomas_wier. He will present on the place of the Udi in the language history of the South Caucasus. Also known as Caucasian Albanian, Udi is endangered but is still spoken to this day by inhabitants of the village of Zinobiani in Georgia’s Kahketi Region. 

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    The board has passed the following resolution which should be considered in addition to the Notice for the AGM on 23rd February 2023:

    The board of directors of the British Georgian Society recommends the following nominees for election to the board at the next AGM on 23th February 2023 there being 3 vacant spaces:
    Matthew O’Hara a part-qualified accountant (CIMA) with over 12 years of experience in finance and accounting. He has been providing services through his accounting practice and has taught courses in Applied & Alternative Economics (MSc) and Doing Business in a Changing World (MSc) at Oxford, demonstrating his strong knowledge and experience in the field. Matthew is a confident, organised, and professional individual who can effectively work under pressure and adapt to changing environments. In addition, his passion for the performing arts and traveling showcases his diverse interests and well-rounded personality.
    Justin McKenzie Smith former British Ambassador to Georgia from August 2016 to August 2020. Justin McKenzie Smith joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service in 1994 and is a graduate of Oxford and Edinburgh Universities.  Justin was Deputy Director responsible for the UK’s relations with Russia, the South Caucasus and Central Asia in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2008-2011. From 2004-2008, Justin was the Spokesperson for the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York and a member of the UK’s Security Council team. He also served in the British Embassy in Moscow in the second half of the 1990s. In London, Justin has also worked on European Union, human rights and press issues.
    Irine Surmanidze founder and director of REZONYAC Spirits Limited, currently leading a unique and empowering venture in the production of artisanal, small-batch beverages that use citruses sourced from small farms on the Black Sea coast in Georgia. Her mission is not only to create superior quality products but also to promote sustainable and community-driven business practices through a women-led cooperative. With extensive experience in the field of arts and culture, in her previous leadership roles as a manager and a head of the culture department, she initiated and implemented various collaborative projects with Georgian arts and culture institutions, the British Council, and other UK-based arts organizations. Irine is a Chevening alumna who holds an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University of London.
    IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the board of directors hereby authorizes and directs the Secretary of the British Georgian Society to promptly notify the membership of the recommended nominees, and to include their names and qualifications in the notice of the next AGM on the 23 February 2023.

    There will therefore be three additional ordinary resolutions to consider at the meeting:
    To appoint Matthew O’Hara as a director of British Georgian Society
    To appoint Justin Mckenzie Smith as a director of British Georgian Society
    To appoint Irine Surmanidze as a director of British Georgian Society

    The board wishes to thank Eka Cox, Hubertus Jahn and Gia Sulkhanishvili for their time as directors of British Georgian Society.

    Board Secretary
    Max Hess

  • 6th London Georgian Film Festival 30th September – 5th October 2022

    British Georgian Society and Life Through Cinema present the 6th London Georgian Film Festival at Ciné Lumière from 30th September – 5th October 2022

    Friday 30th September

    6.30pm             Dead Souls’ Vacation | 2020 | 67mins | dir. Keko Chelidze Q&A with director

    8.30pm             Otar’s Death | 2021 | 105mins | dir. Soso Bliadze Q&A with director + actress

    Saturday 1st October

    1.30pm             Glory To The Queen | 2020 | 82mins | dir. Tatia Skhirtladze Q&A with director + Nona Gaprindashvili

    4.00pm            Merab Ninidze Masterclass talking to Bella Radenovic

    5.40pm             Repentance | 1987 | 153mins | dir. Tengiz Abuladze  Intro by William Dunbar

    8.25pm             Brighton 4th | 2021 | 95mins | dir. Levan Koguashvili 

    Sunday 2nd October

    2.00pm            Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors | 1965 | dir. Sergei Parajanov  Intro by Tetyana Filevska

    4.15pm              Cheerless | 1934 | 55mins | dir. Nutsa Gogoberidze Merab Ninidze tribute to Giya Kancheli

    6.00pm            The Criminal Man | 2019 | 135mins | dir. Dmitry Mamuliya Intro by Natalia Jugheli

    Monday 3rd October

    6.00pm            What We Shared | 2021 | 69mins | dir. Kamila Kuc Q&A with director

    7.30pm             What Do We See When We Look At The Sky? | 2021 | 150mins | dir. Alexandre Koberidze livestreamed Q&A with director

    Tuesday 4th October 

    6.00pm            Wet Sand | 2021 | 115mins | dir. Elene Naveriani 

    8.20pm            Inhale Exhale | 2019 | 91mins | dir. Dito Tsintsadze Q&A with Salome Demuria

    Wednesday 5th October

    4.00pm            Negative Numbers | 2019 | 110mins | dir. Uta Beria 

    6.10pm             Winter Blues | 2021 | 106mins | dir. Tazo Narimanidze Q&A with director

    8.30pm            Amok | 1927 | 70 mins | dir. Kote Marjanishvili with live score Vazha Marr and Giorgi Kuchukhidze and Intro by Natalia Jugheli

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  • Taming The Garden მოთვინიერება in UK Cinemas and On Demand from 28th January 2022
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    Taming the Garden 
    Salome Jashi | 2021 | Switzerland, Germany, Georgia | 90’ | digital 

    The opening shot of Salome Jashi’s striking environmental tale captures a tree as tall as a 15-story building floating on a barge across the vast Black Sea. With astonishing cinematic style, this observational film charts one powerful man’s bizarre project to uproot and transplant hundreds of mature trees from the forests of rural Georgia to his own private garden. The film documents this brutal process of extraction as one-by-one the towering trees are pulled from the earth and transported to the palatial home of their new owner – a former Georgian Prime minister – as locals look on in horror and bemusement. Jashi captures the strange and terrible spectacle with a patient, forensic eye to construct a modern-day fable of wealth, power and privilege. 

    Since BGS partnered Open City Documentary Festival in presenting the UK premiere of Taming The Garden in September 2021, the film is to be distributed by in cinemas and on demand from 28th January 2022.

    For tickets and more information please click here

    Further Press Information

  • Cambridge Seminar “Georgia 1991-2021: Thirty Years of Independence” 25 June 14:00 BST
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    2021 is a year of multiple anniversaries in Georgia. It marks one hundred years since the Bolsheviks crushed the independent Georgian Republic in February 1921 and thirty years since Georgia became independent again after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This year’s British Georgian Society Annual Cambridge Seminar will focus on the path that Georgia has travelled since 1991.

    A welcoming speech will be given by HE Sophie Katsarava MBE, Ambassador of Georgia to the UK. Following the ambassador a panel of eminent specialists from Georgia and the USA – Zaal Andronikashvili, Nutsa Batiashvili, and Stephen Jones –  will give us their thoughts on the lessons Georgia has learned over thirty tumultuous years. A discussion with the audience will follow moderated by Dr Hubertus Jahn.

    The seminar will take place via Zoom on Friday 25th June, at 14:00 BST.

    You must register in advance for this meeting by clicking on the following link: 

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


    Zaal Andronikashvili is a research fellow at the Centre for Literary and Cultural Studies in Berlin and Professor at Ilia State University in Tbilisi. His research focusses on narratology, meta-history of literature, minor literature(s) and world literature, cultural semantics, political theology, the cultural history of Georgia as well as Soviet and post-Soviet cultural history. He is the author of Die Erzeugung des dramatischen Textes. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie des Sujets (2008) and Landna(h)me Georgien. Studien zur kulturellen Semantik (co-edited with Emzar Jgerenaia and Franziska Thun-Hohenstein, 2018). He is currently working on a new book with the title Literature in Georgia: between small literature and world literature.

    Nutsa Batiashvili is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Dean of the Graduate School at the Free University of Tbilisi. Previously she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies. Her recent book, The bivocal nation: memory and identity on the edge of empire (2018), is about Georgia as a divided nation. It explains divisions and polarization as a form of cultural imagination. Her current research is situated at the intersection of cultural anthropology and the studies of nationalism, memory, and post-Soviet transformations.

    Stephen Jones is Professor of Russian Studies and Chair of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He is an expert on post-communist societies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe with a particular focus on Georgia. He is also a member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and he regularly advises the US government on current events in the Caucasus. Among his many publications are Socialism in Georgian Colors: The European Road to Social Democracy, 1883–1917 (2005), Georgia: A Political History Since Independence (2012), and The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918-2012: The First Georgian Republic and its Successors (2014).

    Hubertus Jahn is Reader in the History of Russia and the Caucasus in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Senior Fellow of the Historisches Kolleg in Munich. Jahn holds a PhD from Georgetown University and a second higher doctorate from the University of Erlangen in Germany. He has taught at universities in the USA, Germany, and the UK. His research covers much of Russian history, with a focus on social and cultural aspects, as well as the history of Georgia and the South Caucasus. His current project explores the imperial scenarios and aesthetic representations of the Russian Empire in Georgia in the 19th century. Among his many publications are the monographs Patriotic Culture in Russia during World War I, a study of patriotic manifestations in Russian cultural life during the First World War, and Armes Russland: Bettler und Notleidende in der russischen Geschichte vom Mittelalter bis in die Gegenwart, an interdisciplinary study of begging and poverty in Russia from the Middle Ages to the present. He regularly guides Oxbridge alumni tours through Georgia and splits his life between Cambridge and Tbilisi.
  • Annual Rustaveli Day 2020 (retrospectively) 3 May 2021 6pm UK time

    The BGS and Royal Asiatic Society will be hosting the 2020 Annual Rustaveli Day event online (and retrospectively) on 3rd May at 18:00 UK time. Please see flyer attached.

    This year we continue with the Anglo-Georgian Connections series and are excited to announce our speaker Prof. George Kalandia, who will give an illustrative talk and book presentation on British Sources about Georgia.

    Prof. George Kalandia completed an extensive study spanning many years and numerous countries with an aim to publish less-known and unexplored documents about Georgia in European archives, libraries, museums and other repositories. The result was a series of books with a volume dedicated to the British sources.

    The book comprises more than 200 sources, with translations and relevant comments covering XVI-XIX centuries – starting with the Chancellery of the Tudors and ending with the archives of “The Times”. The book contains information about: King Simon I, Battle for Tbilisi, Georgian-European relations, the Princely family of Dadiani, Laz people, Crimean War and Georgia, etc. The book contains more than150 coloured illustrations.

    Welcome and introductions will be given by Dr. Alison Ohta (Director, Royal Asiatic Society) and H.E. Ambassador Sophie Katsarava.

    This is an online event. Please register with Matty Bradley to attend this talk via Zoom:

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  • Glory To The Queen online screening and director’s Q&A

    During the 1970s and 80s, 4 Georgian women were the queens of international women’s chess. They came from the same city, were virtually neighbours, sometimes colleagues and sometimes rivals, but for 30 years Nona Gaprindashvili, Nana Alexandria, Maia Chiburdanidze and Nana Ioseliani were dominant at the very peak of female chess and also challenged the elite male players. In Georgia they were national heroines, and during the Cold War, revolutionized women’s chess across the globe, and became Soviet icons of female emancipation. Glory to the Queen is not only a film about winning and losing on the chessboard but a cinematic reflection on the individual and collective life stories of 4 remarkable and independent women.

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    From left to right the four chess players: Maia Chiburdanidse, Nana Alexandria, Nona Gaprindashvili and Nana Ioseliani
    Chess Olympiad, Lucerne 1982
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    Nona Gaprindashvili, Nana Iosseliani, Nana Alexandria and Maia Chiburdanidse today

    Filmmaker Tatia Skhirtladze‘s feature documentary Glory To The Queen unites these 4 legendary Georgian chess players after 25 years, and is both a rare look into their present lives as well as a chronicle of their lasting legacy. You can view the film on the following link until the zoom Q&A on Thursday March 25th at 6.30pm UK time.
    password: britishgeorgian250321

    Tatia will be joined by chess legend Nana Alexandria for a zoom Q&A on Thursday 25th March at 6.30pm UK time.

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    Tatia Skhirtladze director
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    Nana Alexandria in 1970
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    Nana Alexandria at 70

    British Georgian Society is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: Glory To The Queen Q&A with director Tatia Skhirtladze and chess player Nana Alexandria
    Time: Mar 25, 2021 6.15pm for 6:30pm UK time
    Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 934 4647 7215
    Passcode: 839428Find your local number:

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    Gaprindashvili and Nana Alexandria
  • Deorientalizing the Caucasus: The New Woman’s Subjectivity in Nikoloz Shengelaia’s ‘Eliso’. Zoom event December 10th 6.30pm

    British Georgian Society and Life Through Cinema are delighted to present the film Eliso (1928) for BGS members to view by Vimeo, and a Zoom talk by silent film specialist Salome Tsopurashvili ‘Deorientalizing the Caucasus: The New Woman’s Subjectivity in Nikoloz Shengelaia’s Eliso (Caucasian Love)’ on Thursday December 10th 2020 at 6.30pm – 7.45pm. 

    Salome Tsopurashvili is a current Georgian Studies Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. Her research focuses on the early Soviet and Stalinist cinema at the intersection of history, ideology and modifications of gender dynamics. Among her publications is a chapter titled Images of ‘The New Woman’ in Soviet Georgian Silent Films in an edited volume Gender in Georgia: Feminist Perspectives on Culture, Nation and History in the South Caucasus (2017). She holds a PhD in Gender Studies from the Tbilisi State University, and a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from the Central European University in Budapest.

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    Rusudan Chkonia

    Salome will be joined, from Tbilisi, by Georgian filmmaker Rusudan Chkonia, whose debut feature was the hugely successful Keep Smiling (Gaigimet 2012), premiered in Venice and internationally distributed. Rusudan worked with Mohsen Makhmalbaf on the film he shot in Georgia The President, and was about to shoot her own film Venice, when the pandemic delayed the start. 

    Completing the panel will be Dr. Dušan Radunović, Associate Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University, who has recently written on aspects of national identity in Georgian Soviet cinema. He also curated a Tyneside Georgian film festival in 2018 Screening the Nation: Georgia 1918 – 2018.

    The evening will be moderated by BGS director Bella Radenovic-Tsulukidze. Please register for this event by emailing

    Join Zoom Meeting:
    Meeting ID: 968 7622 3955 Passcode: Eliso2020

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    Eliso has been made available thanks to GNFC (Georgian National Film Centre) and is one of the classic films of Georgian and Soviet silent cinema. This version has been restored under the direction of Eldar Shengelaia and with a score by Jemal Adamashvili. Set in 1864, the Tsarist regime is using Cossacks to forcibly resettle Muslim Chechen villages to Turkey. Meanwhile a local Muslim girl falls in love with a Christian Khevsur. It was released in the United States in 1929 as Caucasian Love. Eliso will be available to view from now until the lecture on password: BGSEliso12.20  

You can view all our published events here.