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Issue no: 801

• DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

Holding on to Home: A Decree Signed for a Palace?

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In this week’s issue... Georgian Energy Minister Meets Gazprom CEO NEWS PAGE 2

Patriarch of Georgia Refused Right to Pardon Prisoners? POLITICS PAGE 4

ProCredit and Liberty Banks Sign Host-to-Host Agreement BUSINESS PAGE 9

RIGHTS

Presidents, Gali residents and the Patriarch

IN FOCUS Would YOU Head Out to the Streets and Protest? PAGE 4-8

BY DIMITRI DOLABERIDZE

M

ore and more often these days we hear claims by various experts, politicians and media outlets that Georgia is awaiting a mass demonstration against this or that issue. Yet we have found that, despite economic problems, the exchange rate decline, and rising unemployment rates, only 13% of the respondents of a study into the reality of these claims said they would support a mass protest if it happened, while only 6% said they would actually participate. In a survey conducted by the Ivane Javakhishvili

Tbilisi State University Center of Research for the Study of Georgian Complex Development Issues on 18-27 November, in which 521 Tbilisi respondents were interviewed, 9% believe that a mass demonstration will take place as a result of political ‘incompetence’ and yet 73% doubt such a likelihood. And only 4% of respondents said they would be willing to participate in such a protest while 75% said they would refuse to be involved. Respondents were also asked how likely a mass protest would be as a result of declining living standards, decreasing exchange rate and increasing unemployment, to which 13% said ‘quite likely’ and 68% said less so, with 74% saying they would not participate even if one was organized. The same direction of thought can be seen in the

This week demonstrators met on Rustaveli Avenue to protest a new Bill on illegal parking and parking on sidewalks

answer to a question regarding a mass protest held for the purpose of political demands, where 9% of respondents claimed it ‘quite likely’ to occur and 73% ‘less likely,’ with just 9% saying that they would actively participate. In conclusion, it can be considered that the scale of citizen motivation to protest in Georgia, oftcited by some experts and politicians, is in reality extremely low, in line with results shown for any average stable EU country.

Evaluating Generics: What Outcomes Will Expanding this Sector Bring? SOCIETY PAGE 11

Waste Management for Environmental and Economic Development SOCIETY PAGE 12

Painting as an Art of Touch CULTURE PAGE 17

Georgia Impresses at Prometheus but Turkey Wins Gold CULTURE PAGE 19

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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Georgian Energy Minister Meets Gazprom CEO

Georgia-Germany-Russia Dialogue Plan not Actively Pursued…but Would Be Appreciated

BY ZVIAD ADZINBAIA

E

nergy Minister Kakha Kaladze has met with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in Luxembourg. “The two sides continued to discuss Russian gas transit on the Georgian territory and its commercial delivery in the country,” a state-

Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze met with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in Luxembourg

ment on the Gazprom website reads. The Ministry for Energy has not yet released any information regarding the meeting. Russian news agencies are citing the words of Alexei Miller that Gazprom

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and Iran are working on exchange operations when supplying gas to Armenia. Miller stated this when asked about whether supplying the gas was discussed at the meeting. The last time Kakha Kaladze met with Miller was in Milan on October 27 and before that in Brussels on September 25. Since that time, plans have been revealed for the increase of gas imports from Russia. Negotiations between Georgia and Gazprom on the transit service contract extension and other technical issues, as well as the possibility and conditions of delivering additional volumes of natural gas, are expected to have been completed by the end of December. The Georgian government is also considering importing Iranian gas. A few weeks ago, Kakha Kaladze announced a visit to Iran which should have been held in November. It is still unknown when the Georgian delegation plans to travel to Tehran.

Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili

BY ZVIAD ADZINBAIA

F

oreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said he has no information about any concrete steps taken by his predecessor Maia Panjikidze concerning the creation of a Georgia-Germany-Russia dialogue format, as alleged by Free Democrats’ party leader, Irakli Alasania. Alasania considers the creation of a Georgia-Germany-Russia dialogue format relevant, as Germany could play a constructive role in settling the GeorgianRussian conflict. He claims that former Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze started the initiative, however, her work was not continued.

Kvirikashvili answered that the current format with Russia will make it possible to achieve progress, providing there is a political will from Russia. “However, any constructive role which a third party could play in this process would be appreciated.” According to the Minister, he is not informed about any concrete steps taken or opinions expressed in this regard by representatives of the German business community. “Germany is a very important country. Generally, its involvement in Georgia’s European integration process is of paramount importance, and we would welcome any constructive role which any third party could play in this process that may impact political decisions in Moscow,” the Minister said.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Patriarch of Georgia Refused Right to Pardon Prisoners? BY STEVEN JONES

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ast week, Georgia’s Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II released a claim that the Patriarch should have the right to pardon prisoners. After attending a play staged by prisoners at Rustaveli Threatre, Ilia II declared that from his point of view, the Patriarch should have the right to pardon prisoners and inmates. “We have discussed the issue with the Prime Minister and he will supposedly raise it,” Ilia II stated. Following the statement, Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili said that the Catholicos-Patriarch is the spiritual leader of the Georgian nation and his advice is important and valuable for the people. The PM expressed his belief that increasing the Patriarch’s inclusion in the pardon process could be positive. “Therefore, the head of the government calls on the President and Parliament to consider the issue,” the government’s press service said. Georgia’s Minister of Corrections,

Kakha Kakhishvili, also supported the notion. “He is the leader of the nation. I don’t know any person wiser than him. Therefore, he should really have the right to pardon,” Kakhishvili stated. Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, on the contrary, commented that giving the Patriarch such a right would go against the Constitution of Georgia, violating the principle of state and church separation. She added that if the Patriarch feels many prisoners deserve to be pardoned, he should make recommendations to the President in this regard. Irakli Alasania, leader of the Free Democrats opposition party, stated that the government and the state have their own functions and obligations, as does the Church. The issue was declared closed after the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili visited Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II on December 3rd. Following the visit, the President declared his love and respect for the Patriarch. “I would like to emphasize that it is everyone’s duty, especially that of politicians, to take care of this most important person for our country.”

Georgian National Security Council Discusses Security Threats BY STEVEN JONES

O

President Giorgi Margvelashvili visits the Patriarch to discuss giving him the right to pardon prisoners

A meeting was held following the statement where some Georgian MPs and representatives of the cabinet argued in favor of granting the Patriarch the right to pardon prisoners. The President declared on Kavkasia TV that this is not the first time these fundamental issues have been raised. He said, “the issue is clear and does not need further clarification.” According to the President, the issue has been closed as a result of the “active engagement of civil society and very clear statement of the Church.” A number of significant details of the President-Patriarch meeting have not been disclosed and it is doubtful whether they will be following the

President’s ‘closure’ of the matter. The President further declared after the meeting that some politicians revealed their lack of a basic understanding of the details of Georgia’s statehood and the Georgian Constitution when they supported the debated notion. Back in 2002, a Constitutional Agreement was signed by the Church and the President which specified the separation of functions of the State and the Church. The Agreement incorporates a secular state, where religion stands apart from the political processes and an agreement whereby the two institutions do not intervene in one another’s affairs.

n December 4th, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili invited the National Security Council (NSC) to discuss the security threats and other important topics related to the country’s security environment. The Council also discussed the threat assessment document, approved by the government. After the gathering, the Secretary of the NSC Irine Imerlishvili stated that Georgia’s progress toward NATO-integration was one of the key topics of the discussion. “We discussed the most important issues in terms of the country’s defense. Several military plans were approved. We agreed on a coordinated effort. At the same time, we discussed Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration issues,” - President Margvelashvili stated. According to the President, the NSC is the most important constitutional body, at which the country’s highest political and military authorities discuss the most relevant issues of defense capabilities. “We do not know any other constitutional framework in which such decisions are made. Therefore, it is important for us to be united in these meetings and for this united position to strengthen and empower the defense capacity of our country,” the President said. Continued on page 8


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

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Emergence of the Neo-Eurasianism Concept OP-ED BY MAKSYM BEZNOSIUK

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ince the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has needed an ideological concept that could redefine its unique geostrategic position in the post-Cold War world. At the end of 1990s, the neoEurasianism ideological concept gained popularity among former Soviet state officials and intellectual elites, with the special role it ascribed to Russian civilization in contrast to the “hostile West.” With the rise of Vladimir Putin to power in 2000, a unique chance to implement these neo-Eurasian ideas in practice emerged. As a result, such a situation led to a variety of activities aimed at rebuilding Russia within the USSR borders and to unify the Eurasian space in political, economic and security terms. In 2000s, the neo-Eurasianism concept has been the key driving force behind the foreign policy of Russia in relation to the former Soviet Union (FSU) states. The Kremlin’s actions within the last several years, coupled with statements made by its proponents, indicate that the key imperative of this concept is to establish the Russia’s dominance in the post-Soviet space and prevent any poten-

tial western ambitions to encircle and diminish Russia’s role in that space. Putin’s doctrine, which is based on neo-Eurasianism ideas, have provided a justification for any efforts to restore the unity of the “Russian nation” through Eurasian integration or creation of a single state spanning at least a part of the post-Soviet area. Thus, any FSU state unwilling to pursue a neo-Eurasianism agenda will be conditioned to political, economic and military pressure. Georgia and Ukraine as victims of neoEurasianism aspirations of Russia One bright example of non-compliance with the Kremlin’s neo-Eurasianism agenda was Georgia. It was aspiring to pursue NATO and EU membership in order to get out of the sphere of influence of the Russian Federation. What followed was an armed conflict between Georgia and Russia which took place on the Georgian territory of two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Consequently, in spite of the withdrawal of Russian troops from these regions, buffer zones around Abkhazia and South Ossetia were established. The key goal of the Kremlin’s neo-Eurasianism agenda was to prevent any potential EU and NATO enlargement in the Caucasus. Hence, it decided to retaliate against Georgia, and force it to relinquish its

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

aspirations to pursue potential NATO and EU membership. Such actions resulted in the signing of Russian-Ossetian treaty of alliance and integration in Moscow on 18th March 2015, similar to the one signed between Russia and Abkhazia in November 2014. These signed agreements implied the abolishment of border controls and introduction of a simplified procedure on obtaining Russian citizenship. The most striking ongoing case is Ukraine, which is located between Russia and Europe. For a long time, Ukraine had been trying to pursue a balanced geopolitical strategy. However, the time came to decide which geopolitical path to choose, and Ukrainian leadership opted to follow a closer convergence with the West through pursuing an Association Agreement with the EU. Nevertheless, under the Russian pressure driven by neo-Eurasianism ambitions, and unwilling to let Ukraine drift away from its potential accession to the Russian-led Custom Union, former Ukrainian President Yanukovych was forced to suspend the signing procedure of the Association

Agreement with the EU that was planned for the end of November, 2014. Subsequently, it led to the Revolution of Dignity, toppling of Yanukovych and arrival of the proWestern government in Ukraine. The ousting of Yanukovych served as a pretext of Russian interference in Ukraine, which resulted in fullscale informational, political and subsequently military measures applied to destabilize Ukraine for diverting from the neo-Eurasianism agenda. After Crimea was annexed by Russia, the Kremlin resumed its activities to respond to Ukraine for not complying with the Kremlin’s neo-Eurasianism project by destabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine. Not surprising, neoEurasianism ideologists, headed by Dugin, together with a number of leading Russian political figures, forwarded a proposal to introduce a Little Russia State (Malorussia) formed from the southerneastern and central parts of Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv. In the opinion of Russian elites, “Little Russia” would then decide its own fate regarding unit-

ing with Russia and the “Russian World.” Incidentally, in 2014, the term “Little Russia” appeared in Russian President Putin’s speech about the historical background of this territory being governed by the Tsarist governorate under Catherine the Great in the late 18th century. TheKremlinhaspursuedpoliciesinspired by neo-Eurasian ideologists to justify its intensification of geopolitical pressure in the post-Soviet space, aimed at subordinating and controlling FSU states. It is highly likely that other countries in the region that oppose the implementation of the neo-Eurasianism project might follow the path of Georgia and Ukraine. Maksym Beznosiuk is an international relations specialist from Kyiv, Ukraine.

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POLITICS

Holding on to Home: A Decree Signed for a Palace? OP-ED BY ZAZA JGARKAVA

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fter contemplating for five days, President Margvelashvili decided to satisfy the request of the Minister of Justice to terminate the citizenship of his predecessor. “In accordance with the organic law “On Georgian Citizenship,” Article 19 - sub-clause B, Article 21 - paragraph 1, sub-clause G and Article 25 - first paragraph, in regards to acquiring citizenship of another country, [We] deprive Georgian citizenship to Mikheil Saakashvili, born on December 21, 1967,” says Decree N378. Indeed, the Georgian Constitution does not allow dual citizenship, however, according to the law, the President has an exclusive right to grant Georgian citizenship to any person willing to acquire one. And, apparently, the Decree signed by President Margvelashvili lacked exactly that ‘willingness’. Otherwise, according to lawyers, Decree N378 has been adopted with full compliance with the law. Nobody doubts that the Decree signed by President Margvelashvili is legally justified, not even Mikheil Saakashvili himself, however, in this case, the main political determinant is more interesting than the legislative one. Why did President Margvelashvili not use his right to grant dual

citizenship to his predecessor? According to Saakashvili, revocation of his citizenship was not just a legislative act but also a political one, made by “A frightened and failing government which does not serve national interests.” The ex-president said that the government, in issuing this Decree, is trying to prevent him from taking part in next year’s elections. “But I never said I wanted to participate in these elections. Currently, my party is the most popular one in Georgia anyways. According to recent polls, it would have taken first

The fact that Saakashvili said no to Georgian citizenship has actually insulted the presidency, as well as our country

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili shows off his identification card after his Georgian citizenship is revoked. Source: sputniknews.com

place. Despite the fact that all of its main leaders are either exiled or imprisoned, the results of the poll suggest that 30 percent of respondents support it. The ruling party is a few points behind and its rating continues a catastrophic decline,” Saakashvili declared. President Margvelashvili did briefly point to the political aspect of his decree by referring to the fact of his predecessor acquiring Ukrainian citizenship as shameful. “The fact that Saakashvili said no to Georgian citizenship deserves to be assessed toughly – by doing so, Georgia’s former president has actually insulted the presidency, as well as our country.” According to political expert Soso Tsintsadze, the government under Georgian Dream has declared Saakashvili wanted, therefore, terminating his citizenship has to be founded on stronger legislative grounds than the fact that he has acquired Ukrainian citizenship: “Terminating citizenship to the former President has to have solid legal grounding, otherwise, revoking his citizenship in such a flagrant way is inadmissible. If the former president is charged with treason of the country, than it is more reasonable. Otherwise, even if he is sentenced to death, terminating his citizenship is an incorrect political step,” said an expert of the agency Iverioni. It is hard to say how favorable terminating Saakashvili’s citizenship will be

for the government. In any case the former president was unable to travel to Georgia. Added to which a criminal case has been launched against him for buying seven suits and a coat. If the government changes in the parliamentary elections of 2016, he will most likely be able to travel to Georgia again and may even be able to take part in future presidential

elections. But President Margvelashvili can be calm for the time being. Like Nika Gvaramia, General Director of Rustavi 2, wrote on a social network: “By terminating the citizenship of Saakashvili, Margvelashvili has guaranteed his own immunity more, rather than that of Saakashvili’s. Now nobody will evict him from the Presidential Palace.”


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Georgians Living in Gali Deprived of Fundamental Rights

Citizens gathered at the EU office in Tbilisi, protesting racism against Georgians in Gali. Photo by Johny Kvaratskhelia

BY ZVIAD ADZINBAIA

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ast week, Georgian Foreign Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, delivered a speech at the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council held in Belgrade. Delivering his speech in the plenary session of the Council, Kvirikashvili spoke about the challenges facing the OSCE area and the grave human rights and security situation in Georgia’s occupied regions. He emphasized the importance of international monitoring mechanisms in these territories. Kvirikashvili focused on the Russian Federation’s disregard of the basic norms and principles of international law as proven by the violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said that, by signing so-called “treaties” with the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali regimes, in breach of its international

obligations, “the Russian Federation intends to fully integrate these regions into its military, social and financial institutions.” “The population residing in the conflict zones are deprived of their civil, social and economic rights, including the right to freedom of movement, right to property, as well as recent violations of the right to study in one’s mother tongue in the Gali district of the Abkhazia region when, in eleven elementary schools, Georgian as a language of instruction was replaced with Russian,” the minister said. Several civic organizations working for IDP issues, led by the Center for Reforms and Monitoring, assembled in front of the EU office of Tbilisi on December 3rd. The peaceful demonstrators were protesting against the current situation in Gali region, calling it “an exact form of racism against Georgians on the ground.”

David Zakaraia, the leader of the organization, which has been operating in Georgia for several years, told Georgia Today that the fact is of crucial importance and the Georgian government should protect the rights of those living on the occupied territories. The protesters asked the EU countries, through the sending of an official letter, to help their voice be heard by the world. “We kindly ask you for an adequate reaction to the racism politics and total injustice happening on the occupied territory of Abkhazia in order to save thousands of people from losing their lives and identity in their own country,” the letter reads. Gali district is a part of Abkhazia, a region occupied by Russian troops. The district is smaller than the eponymous one in the de-jure subdivision of Georgia, as some of its former territory is now part of Tkvarcheli District, formed by de-facto Abkhaz authorities. Despite the conflict of the 1990s and Russia’s occupation on the ground, an estimated number of Georgians still remain in the area facing and experiencing massive violation of their fundamental rights and insecurity. The current de-facto leadership, led by Raul Khadjimba, claims Georgians living in Gali should be limited as the majority support the idea of a united Georgia. The central government of Georgia attempts to have influence in favor of the Georgians there; however, the social, political and military issues are fundamentally controlled by the Russian government.

Permanent members of the National Security Council, chaired by the President of Georgia

Georgian National Security Council Discusses Security Threats Continued from page 4

The Council meeting involved the NSC Secretary, the Parliamentary Speaker, the Defense Minister, the Chief of General Staff, the Interior Minister and other high-level officials from security structures. The Prime Minister of Georgia, one of the permanent members of the Council, was notably absent from the recent meeting, and not for the first time. The United National Movement, the main opposition force, suggested the PM has no respect toward the NSC, accusing him of damaging the institution for personal motives. They conclude that the PM has created an identical organ- the Security Crisis and Management Council- under his own leader-

ship, “under no constitutional or realistic need.” The Parliamentary Speaker, David Usupashvili says the institution should be respected by everyone, whether one has a predilection toward certain personalities or not. The National Security Council, an advisory body to the President of Georgia, is empowered to consider issues determined by the Organic Law on National Security Council of Georgia to draft the highest political decisions. According to Paragraph 1 of Article 99 of the Constitution of Georgia, the National Security Council shall be set up to organize the military development and defense of the country.


BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

9

PASHA Bank Presents Spotlight Marketing Library Annual Passes to Forward Members

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n December 6th, Tbilisi Mediathek hosted the Forward club meeting where Anano Korkia, Head of PASHA Bank PR and Marketing Department, spoke about the specifics of corporate marketing communication planning and execution, following which club members received annual passes to the Spotlight Marketing Library which also gives access to Tbilisi Mediathek branches: 76, Chavchavadze Ave., Park Vake and Varketili 3, I M/D. Spotlight Marketing Library is a project initiated by PASHA Bank and brought to life together with Tbilisi Mediathek and Spotlight. Marketing Library aims to create a single comfortable space with professional literature in Marketing, Branding, PR and other related fields that will be available for everyone interested in these topics. The Spotlight Marketing Library is available at the Vake branch of Mediathek. Founded in 2014 by Marketer.ge, club Forward unites practitioners from the marketing field and aims to enhance the knowledge and experience of its members by organizing seminars and other events regularly. PASHA Bank frequently works together with Marketer.ge on different projects aimed at improving professional growth prospects of Georgian marketing professionals. One of those projects is the business blog on marketer.ge where Harvard Business Review articles are translated into Georgian and provide up-to-date analytical information on international

Alex Matua, Director of ProCredit Bank, signs a Host-to-Host agreement

ProCredit and Liberty Banks Sign Host-to-Host Agreement

The Spotlight Marketing Library is available at the Vake branch of Mediathek

trends, news and contemporary best practices in marketing and related fields. “PASHA Bank has been operating in Georgia since 2013 and providing corporate and investment banking services to large and medium-sized enterprises as well as supporting educational and professional projects,” said Anano Korkia, Head of PR and Marketing Department at PASHA Bank Georgia. “We believe that the development of the country’s business and economy fundamentally depends on the professional growth of both the experienced and the young professionals who are or will be involved in taking essential decisions for their

companies on a daily basis.” “Our cooperation with PASHA Bank started in May, 2015 by supporting Spotlight and initiating a beneficial project – the Marketing Library that contains professional literature covering commerce, advertising, marketing and branding,” said Ako Akhalaia, Founder of Marketer.ge. “And after only 6 months the Spotlight Library books were read by about 6000 readers. Our next joint project is translating and publishing trending analytical business articles on marketer.ge, giving an opportunity to about 100 000 visitors to read the latest global business news.”

BY MERI TALIASHVILI

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roCredit bank and Liberty Bank have signed an agreement according to which the two banks will be connected with Host to Host connection, enabling customers to make withdrawals and card payments more easily. For Liberty Bank it is the third Host to Host agreement. In the framework of the project, card owners will be able to avoid tariffs when withdrawing from Liberty and ProCredit bank ATMs, the number of

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which exceeds 500. “From now on, the customers of both banks will be able to take cash out from even more ATMs of ProCredit Bank and Liberty Bank- benefiting from being able to withdraw cash at standard rates,” said Alex Matua, Director of ProCredit Bank. ProCredit Bank VISA / Master Card and VISA Business card holders will be able to make deposits into Liberty Bank ATMs in accordance with ProCredit bank rates, while Liberty Bank clients will be able to make their payments using PAY/UPI cards together with VISA/MASTER Cards in ProCredit banks.


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BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Metrocity Forum Shopping Mall In Batumi

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nterview with Mehmet Ayag, Chairman of the Board of JSC Metro Avrasya Georgia.

NEXT YEAR A NEW GIANT SHOPPING MALL WILL OPEN IN BATUMI. WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF THIS AND WHICH SEGMENT ARE YOU FOCUSING ON WITH IT? The Metro City project includes 464 residential apartments, 415 hotel suites, and the biggest casino in Georgia. Most of the residential apartments have already been sold and will be put into use in July 2016. The shopping mall will also open then. We make accents on tourists and residents in new apartments; the hotel guests. The affordable prices will also enable local residents to enjoy our services. Moreover, we also have resolved one of the main challenges in Batumi and we have organized a parking area for 310 cars.

ter shopping mall services without crossing state borders. Our company will provide weighty PR and marketing campaigns for popularizing the shopping mall.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ABOUT RENTING COMMERCIAL SPACES AT THE SHOPPING MALL? WHAT PERCENT HAVE YOU ALREADY RENTED OUT? HAVE YOU ALREADY REACHED A FINAL AGREEMENT WITH ANY FAMOUS BRANDS? Let’s keep the names of the brands incognito, because we want to surprise Batumi residents. I can confirm that we are conducting negotiations with one particular company that will be very popular in Georgia and that is sure to be a success here and that “We have already rented out 65% of commercial spaces in the shopping mall and negotiations are underway on the remaining 35% of the commercial spaces.

THE QEMAL PASHA FAIR IS LOCATED NEAR BATUMI AND SO YOU WILL HAVE TO OFFER SHARP COMPETITION TO THIS FAIR, AT THE INITIAL STAGE, TO DRAW NEW CLIENTS. DO YOU PLAN TO UNDERTAKE ANY MARKETING OR PR CAMPAIGNS IN THIS DIRECTION?

BESIDES THE BRANDS THAT ARE ALREADY REPRESENTED ON THE GEORGIAN MARKET, ARE YOU NEGOTIATING TO ATTRACT NEW ONES?

Georgian citizens go to Turkey, namely, to Qemal Pasha, Khopa and Trabzon, to shop, taking with them Georgian currency. We aim to strengthen the Georgian economy- local residents and tourists will remain in and spend money in Georgia and not take it abroad. Furthermore, our company will enable

ADJARA IS CONSIDERED A SEASONAL RESORT. DO YOU EXPECT DEMAND FOR

I believe the Qemal Pasha Fair will have to compete with us, not the other way around

tourists to enjoy the Ring transport Service. The last stop will be at the Metro City Forum shopping mall. Metro Forum is located in Batumi, in a very promising location favorable for both local residents and the country as a whole to enjoy bet-

Naturally, we have contacted almost all famous international brands and negotiations are underway with them.

SHOPPING MALL SERVICES IN THE OUT-OF-SEASON PERIOD? A good question. Stores of various brands operate throughout Batumi but in the rain, it is difficult to enjoy shopping in Batumi Streets. Our goal is to enable local residents to enjoy the services of a variety of brands at the shopping mall, as well as that of various entertainment centers. To that end we will have a movie theater, restaurants with terraces, an entertainment center for children, bil-

Our goal is to enable local residents to enjoy the services of a variety of brands at the shopping mall, as well as that of various entertainment centers

liard and bowling centers where people will spend the time jointly with friends and family members.

HOW MUCH IS THE RENTAL PER SQUARE METER? The rental per square meter starts from 25 USD plus VAT. The rental amount depends on the floor, space and location.

METRO CITY IS IMPLEMENTING THIS LARGE-SCALE PROJECT IN BATUMI. WHAT IS THE

INVESTMENT VALUE OF THIS SHOPPING MALL AND IN WHICH TIME PERIOD DO YOU EXPECT TO GET BACK THE INVESTMENT? The total value of the project exceeds 120 million USD. We also plan to expand our activities by implementing the Metro City Phase 2 project. Naturally, it is important for our company to return the investments, but the preference is given to creating stable job places and products for Batumi residents.


SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

11

Janelidze: Indian Generics Can be EISENBERG Trusted when Properly Manufactured Paris Now BY KETEVAN DIDEBULIDZE

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he Head of the International Center for Endosurgery, Otar Janelidze, responded to the introduction and import of Generic drugs onto the Georgian pharmaceutical market. “It is important to implement the import of high quality drugs into Georgia’s pharmaceutical market. Regardless of whether it is a brand or generic drug, it needs to be reliable and effective in terms of results,” Janelidze said. “The way out from this issue is strict control. We need

to change the mechanism of control, until now a process not implemented in Georgia. It must be impossible for a drug to cost less in Georgia, while it is expensive in the rest of the world.” Generally, Georgia’s pharmaceutical market is chaotic because there is an oligopoly, as prices are uncontrolled. It has been years since talks on drug prices started but there is little change. “The market needs the introduction of Generics, which will balance the issues,” Janelidze added. As for Indian Generics, Janelidze sees no negative aspect in importing drugs from this country because India produces high quality drugs, when properly manufactured.

Evaluating Generics: What Outcomes Will Expanding this Sector Bring?

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resident of Human and Prisoner Rights Protection, Giorgi Lagidze, evaluated increasing prices on Georgia’s pharmaceutical market. “When we talk about drugs, first of all we need to mention the drastically increased prices on the Georgian pharmaceutical market, especially in terms of the currency devaluation. In spite of the fact that the Georgian currency is becoming more stable, prices on medi-

Exclusively Available in LUTECIA Georgia!

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erfumery trade network LUTECIA organized its annual event LUTECIA Party this year, during which it officially presented Eisenberg Paris products to an eager audience. The Lutecia Party is a tradition which is annually held for the loyal customers of LUTECIA, as a gesture from the chain

cines remain high,” he said. High prices on drugs is an actual and significant issue for Georgian people. As a result, the Government of Georgia recently announced the introduction of Generic drugs, which will relieve the situation. The Ministry of Health aims to encouraging to the population to build trust toward Generics. “The world is showing preference for Generics, because Generic medicines have the same active ingredients as brand name medicines,” Lagidze said. “They have the same effects as brand name drugs but they may be a different color, shape, or size. What’s more, they are less expensive than brand name drugs. I think that the solution to expensive drugs is the introduction and expansion of Generic drugs, but at the same time we must tighten quality control.”

Invitation to Participate in the Sales Procedures Announced by the Embassy of the Republic of France in Georgia on the Sale of 3933 sq/m Land Plot Located in the Center of Tbilisi The Embassy of the Republic of France in Georgia has announced a Sales Procedures on the sale of land plot located adjacent to the Rustaveli Avenue at 4 Khazina St., Tbilisi, Georgia. The land plot has the following characteristics: cadastral code – 01.15.04.007.010; total area of the land plot - 3933 sq/m. The land plot qualifies as type 2 recreational zone with the following coefficients: K1= [0,2], K2=[undefined] and K3=[Undefined]. Please, take into account that the Sales Procedures n will be conducted in accordance with the Rules for Submission of Offers available on the web-page of the Embassy: ambafrance-ge.org, or by e-mail request at contact.tbilissi-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr. The interested Parties shall submit their Expression of Interest in a form and to the addressee(s) envisaged in the Rules for Submission of Offers. In case of additional questions, please, contact [the consul or hes representative] at the following e-mail [contact.tbilissi-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr] or call at [(00 995 32) 272 14 90] from Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM till 12:30 PM. The Expression of Interest shall be submitted to the Contact Person indicated above no later than 15th of October 2015.

Jean-Luc Trognon and Vakhtang Pkhakadze

to express its gratitude, and thank clients for their long term loyalty and trust. The main part of the evening was a press conference at which official representatives of Eisenberg, Jean-Luc Trognon and Natalia Trognon, presented to journalists the products which are famous for the Trio Molecular formula and the exquisite fragrances. The evening was

held in a pleasant atmosphere, with lots of surprises for guests. The founder of the perfumery trade network LUTECIA, Vakhtang Pkhakadze, discussed how important it is for LUTECIA to exclusively present Eisenberg in Georgia, thanked the guests, and promised to pamper them with more surprises in the near future.


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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Waste Management Association for Environmental and Economic Development BY EKA KARSAULIDZE

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ompanies operating in the field of waste recycling, collection and secondary industry have launched the Georgian Waste Management Association (WMA) – the main aim of which is to establish and develop recycling methods, help with waste separation and manufacturing local products out of recycled goods, and create a business-friendly environment. The official presentation of the Association was held in Tbilisi on December 4. The Georgian Waste Management Association was organized with the support of the USAID-funded Waste Management Technologies in Regions (WMTR) Program on June 5. Representatives of the WMTR claimed that the Association will be a great platform to solving key waste management problems, involving the public in these issues, protecting the environment and more. “Interested parties can meet in the framework of the Association and share their knowledge and create joint projects. The Association will help parties to establish

contacts,” said Giorgi Guliashvili, President of the new WMA. At the presentation the most relevant topics for Georgia were brought up, such as plastic bottle use, export of recyclable

Waste recycling will help small and medium businesses in Georgia, create jobs, satisfy the requirements of the local market and grow export potential in the EU

President of the Georgian Waste Management Association Giorgi Guliashvili at the opening presentation

material, hazardous chemical waste recycling, legislation and an awareness campaign to involve citizens, especially the young generation. Nino Shavgulidze, Deputy Chief of the WMTR noted that, to date, the main task is to find and develop technologies for recycling rather than sending them to landfill. “Sending waste to landfill is the last way out of this issue. There are several ways to get rid of garbage and recycling is the most effective, so I’m very pleased that thanks to our cooperation with the government 13 landfills will be closed in Georgia in near future,” Shavgulidze said. “I’m sure that with this new Association we will be able to communicate with other organizations, NGOs and business structures and deal with

many more such problems in our country,” she added. The waste recycle sector is very important for environmental protection, as well as for the country’s economic development. It should rightly push for the involvement of the business sector. “Waste recycling will help small and medium businesses in Georgia, create jobs, satisfy the requirements of the local market and grow export potential in the European Union as well as in other countries,” said Guliashvili. The Association will also be a link between the recycling sector and government institutions. Head of the Division of Waste and Chemicals Management of the Ministry of Environment Protection of Georgia Alverd Chankeli-

ani highlighted that there are a lot of problems in this field but the main goal is to start acting. “This Association was created to solve these kinds of problems. Perhaps it is a complex issue, because the business sector is diverse, however, I believe that the presence and understanding of the problem will enable solutions to be sought and hopefully found,” noted Chankeliani. In the framework of the WMA, it is also scheduled to provide consultation to all interested in the waste management sector, to assist start-up businesses with know-how, to create legislative and social initiatives, to conduct waste management research, and to create and update a database of people involved in the sector.


SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

UNStudio Helping Georgian Architects and Designers Dream for the Future BY ROBERT ISAF

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t isn’t only a rhetorical question: what will Tbilisi be like in 10 years’ time? This was the final question posed to participants – a crowd of mostly creative, engaged and remarkably wellgroomed students and young people – at a day-long seminar held at Rooms Hotel in Vera this Tuesday. Titled “The Quality of Life: Rethinking Architecture towards a Sustainable Future,” the seminar was organized by two architectural studios, one – Studio L Tbilisi – Georgian, and one – UNStudio – Dutch, in partnership with the Dutch Embassy to Georgia. This was furthermore the third iteration of UNStudio’s “Dialogue Platform”, a programme of seminars and workshops focused on creative, sustainable design solutions in the our international world. The first two Dialogue Platforms took place in Berlin and Milan.

“We are really specialists of the crossnational,” said Caroline Bos, cofounder of UNStudio and its principal urban planner, explaining the strategy behind these events. “I think we bring that sort of experience with us, but then we interact very strongly with local parties to really work here. Their opinion on what Tbilisi is is far more important than ours.” Local parties proved – and when don’t they? – the main draw in bringing Dialogue Platform to Georgia. UNStudio, a world-renowned and prize-winning firm, perhaps most commonly identified with the eye-catching Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, designed the Kutaisi airport, is engaged with a major master-planned neighborhood project at Tbilisi’s periphery, and has built up a number of personal relationships with Georgians over the years. Ms. Bos, who had never been to Georgia before this trip, pointed out one of UNStudio’s architects helping conduct the seminar, Roman Kristesiashvili. “He actually brought his baby with him on the plane,” she said, grinning, “to his parents, who are babysitting while he’s here.

So that’s an example of globalization!” The foreign facilitators present were exactly that – facilitators – giving talks on their own projects or practices and, more intimately, leading the small-group workshop sessions interspersed throughout the day. Five topics were introduced to begin conversation with: Historic Preservation, Urban Jungles/Market Research and Planning, Disappearing Public Space, Mobility and the City, and Ecological Identity. “One of the things that makes Tbilisi unique,” offered one participant, the only non-architect at her table, “is it’s very artsy. It’s a very artsy, culture-centered city, and that’s getting lost.” The Dutch facilitator turns to the group. “Do you agree with that? That the mixed neighborhoods with a lot of culture and work are disappearing?” A young man agreed, via translation from his friend, but with a twist. “The main population is not very familiar with the real history of the buildings. For example, the history that during the Soviet period several Soviet leaders

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Thinking about Tbilisi as the city we want it to be is a good way to start off getting there

stayed in a building, which then changed into a tobacco building…” “Aha, so he’s saying that the history of these buildings is [being lost]” “Yes.” The facilitator folds his extraordinarily long arms and considers this elaborately, for the benefit of the group. “Do we feel we have to go into the neighborhoods, and tell the story that there is more to see in the neighborhoods than what they see right now? That there are a lot of hidden stories in the city? And then get their opinion?” He’s pushing in a particular direction – he doesn’t just want to know about problems and solutions, but how to go about collecting ideas for solutions from the people themselves, on the street, in the ezo. After the morning workshops, some of the facilitators are exchanging notes about the problems identified, the solutions proposed, even the masterplans brought up. Too much specificity is clearly frustrating for them. The point of today isn’t – couldn’t be – to devise final answers. The point is to

help rewire how we think. With a spur-of-the-moment decision, the plan for the rest of the day was spun on its head. There was a new workshop now, a new question: to write a newspaper headline from the year 2025. What would media in ten years’ time have to say about Tbilisi? Responses ranged from the playful (a pedestrian killed by a cyclist) to the prescriptive (“Tbilisi Toes to the Sky,” read one presenter, “and if you want some small text under it, it’s: Tbilisi, famous for its beautiful landscape and traditional old Tbilisi courtyards, has established a new city development of neighborhoods in the sky”). Old Tbilisi courtyards might not be sprouting Portmanesque sky gardens ten years from now, and the ambitious riverside plans showcased or peripheral neighborhood designs – which really are being professionally discussed – might not have the transformative effect we hope. But thinking about Tbilisi as the city we want it to be is a good way to start off getting there.


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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

The Bumbler and the Democrat: Ogden on Expats in Georgia OP-ED BY TIM OGDEN

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Georgian friend of mine once told me a joke about some Georgians working in a luxurious mountain hotel in which a group of foreigners were staying. One day, one of the hotel workers sees a dead gorilla outside the building and, not knowing what it was and having never seen anything like it, goes out to examine it with his friend. “Well,” says he, “it’s too hairy for a Svani and too dark for a Megrelian...go back to the hotel, Gio, and check if one of the foreigners is missing.” You’ll note there are two butts to the joke - the appearance of the foreigners and the ignorant workers - but to my mind it gives off a strong sense of fairness. (I have retold that joke with mixed success over the years, with an English

friend of mine asking “And was anyone from the hotel missing? No? Oh...bit of a mystery then, what!”) Western foreigners have been a very divisive influence since arriving in Georgia in significant numbers over ten years ago. To my mind, they can be can be sub-divided into groups, namely The Bumbler, The Democrat, The Stranded and The Genacvale. There is a degree of overlap, but in my experience these categories seem to catch most of the characters one finds here. The Bumbler - the rarest of the breed - is generally happy to live in Georgia and mind his own business, at ease mixing with Georgians or his fellow foreigners in equal measures. The Bumbler may have opinions about Georgia or Georgians, but will have equally strong views on fellow-foreigners; indeed, The Bumbler is often opposed to The Democrat’s aggressive help-the-natives attitude. The Democrat arrives in Georgia and,

like Napoleon looking at the map of Europe, decides that this won’t do at all. After finishing university and learning everything there is to know about the world and realising exactly how it should be run, The Democrat usually comes to Georgia on a government-sponsored education or development programme. The Democrat may be filled with bizarre enthusiasm about ‘bettering the local people’ and ‘making a difference’, both of which they seem to think can be fulfilled with opinionated behaviour and disregard for anyone else’s opinion. The Democrat will usually only associate with other foreigners, but will still claim to know everything about Georgia and Georgians that you don’t (but remember that a Democrat who claims to have studied Georgia at university is a beast best avoided; the sense of entitlement is stifling). Keep in mind, however, that the Democrat is never wrong. I am, needless to say, a Bumbler. I will

concede that Georgian bicho bicho culture (and if you can’t guess what I mean by that, you haven’t been here long enough) is...unsavoury (I was careful with my wording, there) and supras can be tedious, but I do enjoy living here; for me, Georgia is a national personification of that feeling you get after two or three glasses of wine, that heady confidence that makes you think that anything is possible...and, for the most part, it is, if you’re lucky enough and approach things with the right attitude; Georgians are usually very accommodating to Bumblers. Why, during my time here I have done everything from teaching and writing to training professional boxers and acting in a soap opera (and what an experience that was: lights! Camera! Action! The clapperboard snaps, the cameras roll and the idiot Ogden, grinning like a desperate insurance salesman, delivers his lines and dies standing up).

Attitude, you see – while Bumblers can agree with Democrats in that some things could do with changing, The Democrat’s confrontational way of telling Georgians all that’s wrong with their country can do far more harm than good; Georgians are easily offended by foreign criticism, and who can blame them? A logical response to a critic verbally savaging country and culture is to encourage them to go home, but a lack of understanding on both sides doesn’t help; Georgians don’t understand that The Democrat’s rhetoric, while annoying, is basically well-intentioned: at the same time, The Democrat fails to see that while his ideas are reasonable, his methods are only going to make Georgians more stubborn. Yet Bumblers can get on well enough with Democrats; it is The Stranded and The Genacvale who grind our gears, but they will have to wait until next week...


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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Drowning of Thirst: Svaneti BY TONY HANMER

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ever again, I tell myself. But the words alone guarantee nothing. Weather... While the worldwide temperature trend at the moment may be a rising one, with 2015 the warmest since records began, weather itself is technically called a chaotic system. This means that despite the global average, a much wider range of local weathers and temperatures around that average is possible. Enter Svaneti’s 2015-16 winter season, which kicked off with a bang in October: three feet or so of snow in about two days, and we’ve had plenty of unseasonably cold temperatures to go with it. The first time I ever saw a Mestia Region forecast of down to minus 21 degrees C was a few days ago; I hadn’t seen such a low since my Ushguli winters of 2007-9, where they are more normal. Which brings us to... freezing water pipes. Never again, but again. The long-term cause of my house’s suffering this affliction all too regularly might well be that I didn’t bury the plastic pipe quite deep enough in the ground when laying it just before my wife joined me in the house, in August 2012. Well, I was in a hurry, expecting a gaggle of German guests in early September, and there was a lot to do before they and my wife arrived: the water from 150 m away, electricity from 250, some windows and electrical work. And there was no bureaucrat looking over my shoulder, or more exactly those of the oxen a teenage boy was driving to plow the furrow for the pipe, telling me I must meet standards

x, y and z or it was all illegal. Oh no, here it’s as DIY (do it yourself) as you like! Total freedom to make a masterpiece or a mockery of renovations; burn, freeze, flood or electrocute you and yours. I did get local help and advice both, but they didn’t insist either, if or when it wasn’t being done as it should be. So, once again, a few days ago my water pipe froze. At least it doesn’t burst when this happens! The crazy thing is that it was weeks after we had begun leaving the water running a trickle all night, just to prevent exactly this nightmare... at about 10:30 in the morning... in the sunshine... to me and my neighbor both,

simultaneously. So I have a witness that it occurred as I’m telling it, and not just to me. He was able to solve his issue the same day. Not me. My pipe remains frozen as I write this. Now, we have both an interior backup water barrel of 200 L and an exterior one of 1000. Also, this being the snow season, we’re surrounded by more water than we could consume in a lifetime, likely, just that which is on our land; even though, when it melts from white flakes to liquid it’ll condense to about 10% of its volume. So we’re both drowning in the stuff, one of Georgia’s great natural resources nationwide, and threatened with thirst. The outhouse

still works, and we’ve started using it to conserve the barrel water for drinking and washing with. It’s a deluxe type privy: motion sensing light inside, seat instead of squat, sawdust to chuck down the hole to minimize odor. No point in being less comfortable that you must, with little effort! Nonetheless, I went to Zugdidi at my earliest convenience and bought a 100 m and a 50 m length of new plastic pipe to lay from the village’s iron source pipe down to the house. They turned out to be exactly the right length when joined, without needing to cut off or add anything. Surely, I thought, this means that the fates—or God—are

smiling on me! I laid it all out, assembled it while the fiery orange sunset light on Ushba both dazzled and mocked me with its unique, unphotographable glories (I was too busy!), and connected source to house. But the water refused to flow from there to here. It must have frozen inside the pipe somewhere, and stubbornly remains so, while all around it is melting by day. I disconnected the two lengths, and checked each individually. There they lie now, waiting for just a bit more time to analyze things in as scientific a way as frustration allows, a bit more thought, a bit more warmth, perhaps the help of a kindly neighbor, undeserved though it may be. We’ll get there; the alternative, after all, is to give up, pack up, and depart for Tbilisi. But this is home; we’re making it so. The morning of the pipe-freeze, before we got up, I said to my wife that we had each other and electricity. She had the longest, hardest laugh in months. I suppose I should have added water to the list? Another nonetheless: the guest house remains open for business, of course! With little if any discomfort for visitors to show for it! And we’ll lick this problem, too, and maybe even come up with a long-term solution into the bargain. Not over till it’s over! Tony Hanmer runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with over 1250 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/ He and his wife also run their own guest house in Etseri: www.facebook.com/hanmer.house.svaneti


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Painting as an Art of Touch

Irakli Jgenti, artist: Some people achieve the touch, others haven’t really thought about the concept or means of translating emotions over to a canvas.

BY KETEVAN DIDEBULIDZE

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f he wasn’t an artist, he’d fancy himself a movie director. He would gladly live in a province of France for a little while. Before, he was afraid of vanishing after his death, but he accepted and eventually got used to that idea. He considers fighting nonsensical, something people waste a lot of time and energy on. He isn’t much for holding grudges and forgives all that he can. He takes pleasure in experimentation, in participating. He doesn’t judge others for lying since he considers both behaviors inherently human, and he likes it when people start a sentence with the words “In my opinion…” Irakli Jgenti caught my attention on social media – the young artist’s unusual points of view on ordinary circumstances were immediately arresting. I visited him in his workshop and we conversed about art and life in general. After I returned, I had one phrase stuck in my head that he had uttered: “It is time for me to stop destroying my life by searching for answers to questions I know I won’t find.” His view on happiness is similarly curious: “I do not know what happiness is… probably a form of inner peace and nothing more. I achieve it sometimes, in moments when I forgive myself for being human.” He was born in Tbilisi and brought up in a family of artists. His decision to start painting came unconsciously; he overcame the childish protest he nurtured against following in his family’s footsteps quite late in life. He thinks that painting chose him. An impromptu sketch with a pen and paper four years ago was what jump-started it all; the process proved to be so engrossing that he hasn’t stopped since. “I think I realized that no one else will draw what I have to draw. My family members have their thing to say, I have mine.” He currently studies Sculpting in the Academy of Arts, although his true passion is traditional painting. There are no normal or special days for him. And while he realizes he may lead a life some may consider boring, to him the everyday routine is anything but. He is constantly in the search for

discoveries. He paints 6 to 7 hours a day and, in his own words, he is both the observer and the participant of his works. He loves all the different perspectives people have towards them, too: “I love it when they ask what’s going on in a piece. I’m a pretty spineless guy, but I’m interested in the opinion of others and what they see and think. It’s the people who help me most in understanding my own work. That’s why I’ve been seeing my spinelessness as more of a strong suite, since there’s nothing tangible and solid about me, and there’s no stronger spine than that. I’m constantly out of the playing field, always aware that what I’m painting is my point of view alone. No one knows what it really is, and that may be why I decided to join Facebook – opinions, stories, impressions. This discussion is fascinating to me.” He’s not a big fan of crowded and noisy places; he even tries to work alone or with one model at a time. He doesn’t avoid crowds, however- quite the contrary as he even tries to incorporate them into his art through various moods and forms. His paintings are inhibited by events and characters which are unknowable and confusing, since portraying something immediately clear is uninteresting to him. “If I come to an understanding of a piece while painting it, that means I’ll never achieve what I needed. Accidents hold a special place. I don’t draw in one particular medium, and I have devoted as much as a month to a single piece, although there are paintings I’d have spent even more time on… as soon as I realize I’m drawing someone else’s painting, though, I have to stop. That means it’s done.” When I arrived at the workshop, Irakli was working on a new canvas. Upon showing my interest, he realized he couldn’t find a name for it – and then he confessed that this is something he perpetually experiences in real life, as well: the inability to name things. “Painting is an art of touch… some achieve it, others haven’t really thought about the concept or means of translating emotions over to a canvas, turning instead towards cold techniques.” Whatever “satisfies” his vision will be left for our readers to name. Irakli Jgenti’s art can be found as a Facebook page of the same name.

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CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATRE GABRIADZE THEATRE

Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 December 11 MARSHAL DE FANTIE’S DIAMOND Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari December 12 RAMONA Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari December 13 AUTUMN OF MY SPRING Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 10, 15, 20 Lari MOVEMENT THEATRE Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 December 13 INTRO Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 15 Lari TBILISI VASO ABASHIDZE MUSIC AND DRAMA STATE THEATRE Address: 182 D.Agmashenebeli Ave. Telephone: 2 34 80 90 www.musictheatre.ge December 11, 12, 13 INTROSPECTION Directed by Davit Doiashvili

Participant: Nato Metonidze Composer: Nikoloz Rachveli English subtitles Start time: 19:00 Ticket price: From 20 Lari TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE Address: 25 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 04 56 December 13 NEW YEAR BALLET EVENING SERENADE, LE SPECTRE DE LA ROSE, THE NUTRACKER (SUITE) Start time: 15:00 Ticket price: From 5 Lari Venue: Griboedov Theatre STATE HAND SHADOW THEATRE

Address: 17 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 272 68 68 www.budrugana.com December 12 WHAT A LOVELY DAY?! Directed by Gela Kandelaki Small Stage Start time: 19:00 Ticket price: 6, 8 Lari GRIBOEDOVI THEATRE Address: 2 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 93 43 36 December 11 THUNDERSTORM A. Ostrovsky Directed by Vakhtang Nikolava Start time: 18:00 Ticket price: 5 Lari December 12 THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR * Premiere Nikolay Gogol Directed by Avtandil Varsimashvili Start time: 18:00 Ticket price: 5 Lari

December 13 TALE OF KING SALTAN Directed by Avtandil Varsimashvili Start time: 12:00 Ticket price: 5 Lari CINEMA

AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge December 11-14 THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 Directed by Francis Lawrence Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi Language: Russian Start time: 22:45 Ticket price: 14.50 – 15.50 Lari MACBETH Directed by Justin Kurzel Cast: Michael Fassbender, Elizabeth Debicki, Marion Cotillard Genre: Drama, War Language: Russian Start time: 15:00, 17:30, 20:00, 22:30 Ticket price: 9.50 – 14.50 Lari IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Directed by Ron Howard Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson Genre: Action, Adventure, Biography Language: English Start time: 17:30 Language: Russian Start time: 14:00, 20:00, 22:45 Ticket price: 9.50 – 14.50 Lari

ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURE Permanent Exhibition November 17 - May 1 GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ALEXANDER KARTVELI ASSOCIATION PRESENT AN EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE GREATEST MILITARY AIRCRAFT DESIGNER IN HISTORY WHICH PRESENTS THE LIFE AND MERITS OF GEORGIAN EMIGRANT, AN INNOVATOR OF AMERICAN AND WORLD’S AVIATION - ALEXANDER KARTVELI (KARTVELISHVILI /1896-1974/). IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM KARVASLA Address: 8 Sioni St. Telephone: 2 98 22 81 December 4 – December 16 RAMAZ GEMIASHVILI PERSONAL EXHIBITION Women ZURAB TSERETELI MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Address: 27 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 14 84 11, 2 98 60 04 www.momatbilisi.ge December 10-13 MELADZE 14 YEARS OLD PERSONAL EXHIBITION 23 MONTHS GALLERY

MUSEUM

GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge

BAIA GALLERY Address: 10 Chardin Str Telephone: 2 75 45 10 December 3-13 NINO KIPSHIDZE PERSONAL EXHIBITION

EUROPE HOUSE GEORGIA Address: 1 Freedom Sq. Telephone: 2 47 03 11 December 11-12 GEORGIAN, GERMAN, RUSSIAN AND UKRAINIAN INTELLECTUALS IN DIALOGUE SUPPORTED BY GERMAN FOREIGN OFFICE Partners: Tübingen University, Visual Culture Research Center (Kiev, Ukraine), Europe House Georgia (Tbilisi, Georgia), Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Deutschland) MUSIC

TBILISI CONCERT HALL Address: 1 Melikishvili St. Telephone: 2 99 00 99 December 12 REZO CHANISHVILI STAR OPENING Start time: 20:00 Ticket price: 15 Lari December 13 Iumorina’s Renewed New Year Concert Start time: 16:00, 18:30 Ticket price: 20, 25 Lari KAKHA BAKURADZE MOVEMENT THEATER Address: Mushtaidi Park, 182 Aghmashenebli Av. December 12 CONCERT Mariana Sadovska (Ukraine) Artist Talk with Mariana Sadovska Moderation: Tamuna Gurchiani Start time: 20:00 Free entry


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY DECEMBER 11 - 14, 2015

Georgia Impresses at Prometheus but Turkey Wins Gold BY MAKA LOMADZE

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he official closing of the 16th international Film Festival took place on the 5th of December, with Dito Tsintsadze’s film “God of Happiness”. The screening at Amirani Cinema was preceded by the awardgiving ceremony. The scenario went on as it is does at famous international festivals abroad – and here, I’m not in any way intending to diminish the importance of our festival. Just the contrary; of the films that I watched within the framework of Prometheus, the Georgian panorama was the most interesting. First of all, the winners on Pitching Forum were revealed – the initial projects that need to be promoted to achieve final accomplishment. The winner was named as Giorgi Basilashvili with the project ‘Gaumarjos,’ who will visit the Berlinale Festival in Germany. 5000 Gel was also given to Levan Koghuashvili for his new project. The Prometheus for the Best Documentary was given to ‘When the Earth Seems to be Light,’ by Salome Machaidze, Tamuna Karumidze and Davit Meskhi, a film already victorious at the Amsterdam Film Festival and set to continue its travels. In the national contest, the international jury conferred the Prometheus for the Best Feature film to Zaza Khalvashi for ‘Solomon,’ who,

‘Motherland,’ by Turkish female director, Senem Tuzen, was awarded the golden Prometheus at the International Film Festival 2015

after a long break, returns to art triumphantly. The Best Georgian Short Film was taken by Tornike Bziava’s ‘Wake Man.’ At the end of the show came the much awaited silver Prometheus, going to ‘Mediterranea’ (Italy/France/USA/Germany/Qatar) by Jonas Carpignano, a story of smuggling involving Aiyva from Burkina Faso, who goes to Italy with his friend. Then the main prize – the golden Prometheus – which was awarded to ‘Motherland’ by Turkish female director, Senem Tuzen. The main character, Nesrin, is an urban, upper-middle class woman recovering from a divorce. She’s quit her office job, abandoned her house in Istanbul, and come to the village house of her deceased grandmother to finish a novel and live out her childhood dream of being a writer. When her conservative and increasingly unhinged mother turns up uninvited and refuses to leave, Nesrin’s writing stalls and her fantasies of village life turn bitter as the two are forced to confront the darker corners of each other’s inner worlds. ‘Motherland’ is set in Turkey, where millions of people like Nesrin have grown up in modern cities after their parents migrated from traditional villages. The honorary Prometheus for Contribution to World Cinema went to two female directors – as this time, the festival was dedicated to women –Georgian, Lana Ghoghoberidze, and Armenian, Harutyiun Khachatrian.

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EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT:

Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies

The ‘Lesson’ by Kristina Grozeva (Bulgaria/Greece) was the film that most liked by the audience, describing a teacher who is searching for a thief child to teach him a lesson and who is about to become a thief herself… “ The closing film “God of Happiness” by Georgia’s eminent director Dito Tsintsadze, himself a pupil of our great directors and living legends of Georgian cinema, Eldar Shengelaia and Otar Ioseliani left no-one indifferent. Tsintadze moved to Berlin in the late nineties , where he currently lives. He has directed a number of full-length films, amongst which are: Zghvardze (On the Border), 1993, which won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Festival and the Golden Eagle at the International Black Sea Nations Film Festival in 1993 and ‘Lost Killers,’ shown in the “Uncertain Regard” section at Cannes in 2000 and at Zabaltegi in the same year. “I am happy that Georgians can do it so well. We did it, I am so excited that we can shoot such great films again,” Nata Gagnidze, a spectator overwhelmed with emotion told Georgia Today. The new film by our emigrant great aged director Otar Ioseliani ‘Winter Tale’ was also screened, with traditional effective close-ups and a different voice – different forms of violence according to different epochs. It can be said that Georgian film showed itself very honorably in all directions this year and the international program was as colorful as ever. Till the next Prometheus!

Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Tamar Svanidze, Zviad Adzinbaia, Beqa Kirtava, Meri Taliashvili, Eka Karsaulidze, Zaza Jgharkava, Ana Lomtadze, Maka Bibilashvili, Nina Ioseliani, Tatia Megeneishvili, Karen Tovmasyan, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Nino Japarashvili, Maka Lomadze

Photographer: Zviad Nikolaishvili Layout: Misha Mchedlishvili Webmaster: Sergey Gevenov Circulation Managers: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava

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Issue #801  

Dec. 11 - 14, 2015

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