Issue no: 1169
• JULY 19 - 22, 2019 • PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY
FOCUS ON RUSTAVI 2 OWNERSHIP
The ECHR releases its verdict
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In this week’s issue... Georgian Gov’t Offers Help to Tourism Sector after Russian Travel Ban NEWS PAGE 2
Sabkultura: Saba’s Subsidiary Brand for Contemporary Generations NEWS PAGE 3
On Some Issues of the History of Georgia POLITICS PAGE 4
What Are Moscow's Preconditions for Abolishing a Ban on Flights with Georgia? POLITICS PAGE 6
Meet Italian Chef Enzo Neri – Restaurateur, Philanthropist, Designer
Delegation of Israel Supports Tourism in Georgia TRANSLATED BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA
BUSINESS PAGE 7
ithin the scope of an official invitation from Israeli House, the members of the Knesset of Israel and Likud Party of the Prime Minister Netanyahu, along with the representatives of the Israeli business sector and media, are paying a visit to Georgia. The delegation, comprising 25 delegates, is headed by Davit Bitan, the Leader of the ruling coalition of the Knesset. The aim of the visit is to hold business meetings and explore the tourist potential of Georgia on site. There has been an impressive increase in the Israeli tourist inflow in Georgia in recent years. According to official data, in comparison with the first half of 2018, in 2019 the number of tourists increased by 28.4%. Itsik Moshe, President of the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business and Chair of the Israeli House, states that the number of travelers from Israel might reach 200,000 this year. Continued on page 8
Capacity Building Trainings on the Topic of WaSH SOCIETY PAGE 12
Nenskra Hydro Launches Info Campaign to Promote Domestic Tourism in Svaneti SOCIETY PAGE 13
Georgia to Host WorldFamous Verdi Festival CULTURE PAGE 15
JULY 19 - 22, 2019
ECHR Decides Rustavi 2 Ownership Issue BY GT TEAM
oday, the European Court of Human Rights delivered a verdict in the ownership case of one of Georgia’s largest TV channels,
Rustavi 2. According to the Court’s judgment, there were no violations of any Article of the European Convention on Human Rights in the case of Rustavi 2, nor were the rights of Rustavi 2 or its owners violated in the Georgian courts. Rustavi 2 has been told it can appeal this in the Grand Chamber of Strasbourg. The Strasbourg Court also ceased a temporary measure suspending the judgment of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Accordingly, the TV company will be re-registered to shareholder Kibar Khalvashi, as was decided by the courts of three instances in Georgia. The applicants were Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company Ltd and its current owners, TV Company Sakartvelo Ltd and Levan and Giorgi Karamanishvili, two brothers who are Georgian nationals living in Tbilisi. The dispute led to a ruling in March 2017 by the Supreme Court of Georgia finding that a former owner of Rustavi 2 had been coerced into giving up the television channel and that the current owners were not, therefore, bona fide third-party acquirers. Pending those proceedings, Rustavi 2’s corporate assets and all of the owners’ shares in the company were frozen. In the case before the European Court of Human Rights, the current owners of Rustavi 2 alleged in particular that the judges examining the ownership row had lacked independence and impartiality. In today’s Chamber judgment, the European Court held: By six votes to one, that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal) of the European Convention on Human Rights as con-
cerned the judge deciding the case at first instance; Unanimously, that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1 of the European Convention as concerned the court deciding the case on appeal; By six votes to one, that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1 as concerned the composition of the bench deciding the case during the cassation proceedings before the Supreme Court. The Court found in particular that all but one of the allegations of bias had either been unsubstantiated or unconvincing. The involvement of Rustavi 2’s Director-General in disciplinary proceedings against the President of the Supreme Court some years previously, leading to her dismissal from her judicial post at the time, had raised an arguable claim of a lack of impartiality. However, the Supreme Court had extensively assessed any fears in that regard and had convincingly dissipated them in a thoroughly reasoned ruling. In coming to those conclusions, the Court bore in mind in particular that Rustavi 2’s owners had systematically introduced ill-founded recusal requests against many different judges at all three levels of jurisdiction in a probable attempt to paralyse the administration of justice, while Rustavi 2’s Director General had made gratuitous and virulent attacks in the media against the domestic judges involved in examining the ownership row and against the Georgian judiciary in general. The Court unanimously rejected as inadmissible the remaining complaints brought by Rustavi 2’s owners as well as those brought by Rustavi 2 (the first applicant) itself, including in particular their allegations that the proceedings had been a State-led campaign to silence the television channel. Given those inadmissibility findings, the Court decided, unanimously, to lift the interim measure under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court indicating to the Georgian Government that it should among other things suspend enforcement of the decision of March 2017.
According to the judgment, the European Court of Human Rights: 1. Declares, unanimously, the second to fourth applicants’ complaints under Article 6 § 1 concerning the independence and impartiality of Judges T.U., N.G. (in so far as the latter’s proximity to the former judge was concerned), M.T. and the President of the Supreme Court admissible and the remainder of the application inadmissible; 2. Decides, unanimously, to discontinue the application of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court; 3. Holds, by six votes to one, that there has been no violation of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in so far as the independence and impartiality of the singlejudge composition of Tbilisi City Court (Judge T.U.) was concerned; 4. Holds, unanimously, that there has been no violation of Article 6 § 1 in so far as the independence and impartiality of the bench of Tbilisi Court of Appeal, which included Judge N.G., was concerned; 5. Holds, by six votes to one, that there has been no violation of Article 6 § 1 in so far as the independence and impartiality of the bench of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court, which included the President of the Supreme Court and Judge M.T., was concerned. Nika Gvaramia, the former CEO of the Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2, immediately commented on the ECHR decision. “The decision was certainly shocking and absolutely unimaginable,” stated Gvaramia, outlining that he does not agree with the verdict of the Strasbourg Court and has the right to criticize, regardless as to which court it concerns. “It is terrible that the TV channel has been given an opportunity to appeal only in one case," he said, noting that he does not question the impartiality of the European Court and that the reason for such a decision was surely a misinterpretation of the facts of the case. Gvaramia said the team of Rustavi 2 will use its right to appeal. He then directed comments to Tea
Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia, noting that the verdict of the Court has not yet come to force and the TV channel must not be re-registered to Kibar Khalvashi, the former shareholder of Rustavi 2 until the completion of all the relevant procedures. "Such a move will be a violation of the law." Established in 1994, broadcasting company Rustavi 2 changed ownership many times between 2004 and 2012. In March 2017, Georgia’s Supreme Court delivered a verdict in favor of its former shareholder (2004-2006) Kibar Khalvashi. The European Court of Human Rights suspended the enforcement of the Georgian Supreme Court’s verdict. Prior to the release of the verdict on Monday, Rustavi 2 was owned by LTD TV Sakartvelo (51%) and businessmen brothers Levan (22%) and Giorgi (18%) Karamanishvili. The remaining 9% of the channel belonged to Nino Nizharadze, who this week demanded an investigation into former Director General Nika Gvaramia’s activities. Nizharadze and her lawyer believe that Gvaramia abused his official authority and made decisions which were harmful to the TV Channel. According to the lawyer, this is visible from the financial documents belonging to the channel. Nizhradze's com-
plaint refers to the relationship between R2 and advertising house Intermedia. According to Kavlashvili, the TV Company Rustavi 2 signed a contract with the advertising house on a fixed amount of money, which was not in accordance with the interests of the channel and this caused financial damage and loss to the TV Company. Nizharadze's position is that Rustavi 2 is accumulating money in Intermedia deliberately. Rustavi 2's lawyers say that the abovementioned is untrue and the company did not see financial damage and loss while having a business relationship with Intermedia. According to them, such appeal to the Prosecutor's Office just two days before the European Court of Human Rights delivers a verdict in the broadcaster’s ownership issue is “a signature of the Georgian Dream government”. On Monday, businessman Kibar Khalvashi was officially registered as the owner of Rustavi 2 TV, the change already appearing in the Public Registry data and showing that 60% of Rustavi 2 broadcasting company is owned by Kibar Khalvashi, while 40% is registered to the Company Panorama, which is owned by Khalvashi. Gvaramia was soon after dismissed as Director-General of the TV Company, replaced by Khalvashi with his lawyer, Paata Salia.
Georgian Gov’t Offers Help to Tourism Sector after Russian Travel Ban BY THEA MORRISON
he Georgian government has decided to assist the country’s tourism sector by partially paying their bank loan interests in order to help the field develop after the Russian ban on flights with Georgia. The statement was made by the Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze who said the government will help entrepreneurs involved in tourism, in particular owners of small and medium hotels, in cofinancing loans. “The most important thing for us is to support our citizens who are employed in the tourism sector, among them the most vulnerable group - owners of small and medium hotels. Many of them have bank loans, taken to develop the appropriate infrastructure, and we will help them co-finance the interest of these loans,” he announced. The PM highlighted that these entrepreneurs took out loans in response to the fact that tourism was the fastest growing sector, and many of them planned to expand their hotels or to build a new one.
Image source: reginfo.ge
“Consequently, the mechanism we have created with the European Union, in cooperation with European institutions, is a credit warranty scheme that will be directed to those entrepreneurs employed in the tourism sector. All projects that have been planned and which now face obstacles [due to the Russian flight ban] will be assisted. No hotel construction should be stopped,” he stressed.
Bakhtadze also noted that the government will activate marketing campaigns abroad and contribute to launching new flights to Georgia. "I have daily communication with the representatives of the tourism sector. The Ministry of Economy has developed this working plan based on the information they provided,” he added. Georgia’s Minister of Economy and
Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava, said the new program of grants will be launched from September for the owners of small and family-type hotels. Turnava says the new program will be just one of the mechanisms used to assist the tourism sector affected by the Russian sanctions. The Minister said that work is ongoing to co-finance the interest rates on bank loans and financing of marketing activities and added that the Ministry of Economy is working with the Ministry of Finance to do so. The service will also be utilized by the "Produce in Georgia" project. Turnava says that apart from helping to pay the interest on loans, the CreditGuarantee Scheme introduced by the government gives guarantees to the banks when owners of small and medium hotels want to expand their businesses and need loans. “The Credit Guarantee Scheme will be fully oriented to these types of businesses and will offer an additional guarantee to banks, not only supporting existing businesses but also promoting their expansion and financing interesting projects,” she explained. Regarding advertising Georgia abroad and attracting more foreign tourists, Tur-
nava said by the end of July, up to 800 journalists and bloggers will be brought to Georgia to tell the world about it. “We have an ongoing contract with CNN, Bloomberg and National Geographic where Georgia is advertised and popularized as being a safe and attractive country for tourists. Marketing plans and campaigns have been activated for the Baltic States, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine,” she said. Bloggers and journalists will come to Georgia from the United States, Germany, Holland, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, as well as from the Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Israel, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The guests will visit various parts of Georgia and film resorts and tourist attractions, to prepare videos, reports and articles about Georgia as a tourist attraction and a safe country, with unique culture and diverse nature. Georgian tourism faces challenges after Russian President Vladimir Putin imposed an embargo on direct flights with Georgia, which significantly reduced the inflow of tourists and visitors to the country- Russian tourists amount to around 25% of the total visitors annually.
GEORGIA TODAY JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Sabkultura: Saba’s Subsidiary Brand for Contemporary Generations BY NINI DAKHUNDARIDZE
n Wednesday, July 17, ‘Saba’ presented a new initiative, project ‘Sabkultura’ (საბკულტურა). Saba is famous in Georgia for uniting two parts of the literary world, the Saba Literary Prize and Saba ebook platform. Now Saba has presented Sabkultura – a new educational platform made specifically for the new generation. Sabkultura aims to give literature a new life, bringing it to youth in a way that is currently popular in Georgia. Sabkultura unites a free and open space where socializing over books and the knowledge they give to readers will be easy in both digital and real spaces. “This is a new movement of book lovers and readers, members of which believe that reading changes thoughts, thoughts change actions, and actions change the environment,” noted the presenter of Sabkultura during its public presentation in Fabrika on Wednesday. Saba aims to make reading more inviting and interesting, and to accomplish that they plan to organize numerous projects and activities. An updated, improved version of Saba Reader is a good starting point. “Sabkultura” is a joint project of Saba and Communicational Agency Livingstone. After implementing Sabkultura, the Saba Reader has some new functions: giving the best possible experience with modern technology, making reading a pleasant, accessible process for everyone. The platform of Sabkultura will be available via an app. The app will have monthly payment and in turn, readers will be able to download three books. The updated version allows a library format – it will be possible to “return” the books after having read them. After deleting the ebooks, users will be able to download new ones. What’s more, implementing Sabkultura means that the prices of ebooks
will be more affordable. “We wanted to make the relationship between the reader and the author more integrated and make our platform more valuable. To make that possible we knew that we had concentrate all content in one place,” said Vakho Vakhtangishvili from Leavingstone. “For that reason, Sabkultura will offer not only books to its users but educational radio programs as well. Subkultura will be equipped with a unique audio format. The audio books will be read by artificial intelligence (AI) which sounds just like a human. This is a great step in technological development, putting Georgia forward in the field and much more efficient than using human resources, 1200% more efficient to be exact.” The presentation of Sabkultura concluded with Levan Berdzenishvili’s lecture on the importance of literature. Levan Berdzenishvili is a Georgian politician, author and academic who served as the Director of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia from 1998 to 2004. Saba is the biggest Literary Prize in Georgia and a leading innovative web-platform. Saba also manages many social-literary projects. Saba was founded with the support of TBC Bank in 2012. Today, it has over 190,000 users and 6,000 ebooks in its catalogue.
What Are Moscow's Preconditions for Abolishing a Ban on Flights with Georgia?
Image source: nationalturk.com
BY THEA MORRISON
ussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says there is a possibility that Moscow will reconsider its ban on flights with Georgia if Tbilisi stabilizes the situation in the country and ensures the safety of Russian citizens. In an interview with Russian media outlet Argumenti i Fakti, Lavrov said Moscow expects the Georgian government to realize the "danger and ineffectiveness of continuing to fuel the anti-Russian hysteria" as soon as possible, he said, referring to anti-Russian and anti-occupation rallies underway in Georgia since June 20. “We cannot help but remain concerned about the attempts of several radically-minded members of the Georgian political elite to foster Russophobic
sentiments and to drive a wedge between our peoples," Lavrov said, adding that these people “cannot even realize their actions and the damage that they inflict on their own country, on the well-being of their people, which to a significant extent depends on the quality of economic and humanitarian ties with Russia." The politician added that certain Georgian politicians are trying to outclass each other in anti-Russian rhetoric to achieve their “selfish goals.” Lavrov underlined it is important that Official Tbilisi find the strength to condemn the “shameful act by a local TV station, which aired assaults aimed at the President of Russia, resulting in an outcry in Georgian society itself." Here, he referred to private TV station Rustavi 2 whose TV anchor Giorgi Gabunia verbally assaulted President Putin during his live show earlier this month. Continued on page 6
JULY 19 - 22, 2019
On Some Issues of the History of Georgia GEORGIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
e have to touch some utterance on the history of Georgia that President of Russia V. Putin made in Yekaterinburg on July 9. Unfortunately, in his speech there were some incorrect presentations of the history of Georgia, in particular, those concerning relations with Abkhazia and the so-called South Ossetia. And this is not the first time this has happened- and each time it has, Georgian scientists have repeatedly given the proper response. The territories where the Ossetians and Abkhazians now live are historically Georgian. Ivane Javakhishvili researched the issue of Georgia's borders thoroughly (see, Georgian Borders in Historical and Contemporary Terms, Tb., 1919). Based on historical sources, it is clear that the eastern border of the medieval state of Georgia ran on the White Waters or Chaghan Usun (Chronicler). The title of David IV The Builder was "The King of Abkhazians, Georgians, Rans, Kakhetians, Armenians, the Sharnavashah and the Shahanshah". These are the lands that belonged to his great kingship. David The Builder emphasized in his last will that his "won" lands extended “from Nikophsia to the Wall of Daruband and from Ovseti (Ossetia) to the Aragats". Queen Tamar's title is the same as that of David The Builder. This reflects the political strength and geographical size of Georgia. Perhaps we should not have gone into so much detail about Georgia's historical boundaries, but let it be known that any attempt to falsify the history of Georgia will be met with true and verifiable historical data. Abkhaz and Ossetian scholars should also be well-aware of this. Dimitri Gulia, the founder of Abkhazian literature and historiography, emphasized: “Abkhazia, which has always been an integral part of Georgia, has lived one life with it through all her history, organically participated in the creation of Georgian culture and statehood, having played a significant role in the struggle for freedom and independence of the country, in the struggle to unite individual Georgian tribes and regions into a powerful national state of Georgia (D. Gulia, About my book `History of Abkhazia ). It is well-established that Ossetians settled in the North Caucasus (on the territory of present-day North Ossetia) centuries ago, along with the ScythianSarmatian tribes (note that the Ossetian language belongs to the North-East group of Iranian languages). In the X-XII centuries, the Kingdom of the Ossetia had relations with different countries, including Georgia (in XI-XII cc Ossetia was Georgia's vassal country). The invasions of Tamerlane ended the unification of the Ossetians, and they were dispersed in different directions (Hungary, the Balkans, etc.). Some Ossetians tried to settle in Kartli, but were stopped by the Georgians and forced back. In XVII-XVIII cc., Ossetians came to the foothills and a narrow strip of the plain of Georgia (north of Kartli). A small part (Kudaro Ossetians) settled in the Imereti Kingdom. In Kartli, the Ossetians settled on the lands that belonged to the Georgian princes Machabeli and Eristavi of Aragvi and Ksani. They served feudal lords as Georgian serfs did. Ossetians fought against invaders together with Georgians. It was very surprising to read your
The title of David IV The Builder was "The King of Abkhazians, Georgians, Rans, Kakhetians, Armenians, the Sharnavashah and the Shahanshah"
statement in an interview to CNN, made when you were Prime Minister, where you said that once there was a single Ossetia in Russia, that consisted of the current North and South Ossetia; that Stalin divided Ossetia and gave South Ossetia to Georgia, where an autonomous region was made of it; that the same Stalin handed over the territory of Abkhazia to Georgia to set up an autonomous republic of Abkhazia. Obviously, those who provide you with such information do you a disservice. When making loud statements, one should use only verified information. Unfortunately, much of the history of Russian-Ossetian relations has recently been falsified. It is enough to read the research by the Ossetian historian, Professor G. Togolashvili, his articles for Georgian Encyclopedia, especially the special volume "Georgian SSR", the chapter ‘South Ossetian Autonomous District, South Ossetia’ (1981, pp. 337-339), to get an idea of the real history of South Ossetia. From this perspective, it is interesting to get acquainted also with the works by V. Abayev, b. Pliev, o. Tedeeva, Z. Gagloitti, p. Doguzov and others. Vasil Abaev, the patriarch of the Ossetian science writes: “The main Caucasian ridge is the natural border between Georgia and Ossetia, and any attempt to blur this border will entail a state of permanent conflict between Georgians and Ossetians ... we must first talk about South Ossetia's secession from Georgia. No Georgian government will ever agree with this and it will be right because it would mean a violation of Georgia’s territorial integrity. He who wants peace between South Ossetians and Georgians, must forever reject the idea of joining South Ossetia to North Ossetia. This idea must also be
abandoned by those who want peace between Georgia and Russia. Such is the reality.” (`Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 1992, 22. I., # 13). This is the opinion of a true Ossetian patriot, great scholar and public figure. No comment needed. Sadly, neither Ossetian nor Russian functionaries have taken this wisdom into consideration. Recently, the Russian media has been spreading an absurd statement that in 1774, by the force of the Kuchuk-Kaynarji peace treaty signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, Russia was joined by Ossetia, which in their interpretation included also the northern part of the Georgian province Shida Kartli, the subsequent “South Ossetian Autonomous Region.” On July 10, 2004, the Russian Duma made an irresponsible and absurd statement that in 1774, Ossetia voluntarily joined Russia and therefore it was the Russian government's duty to protect the rights of citizens of Ossetia. Here, we are dealing with at the very least the ignorance of history. The fact is that the geographical notion of "Ossetia" did not exist at that time and, of course, there was no such state. The Ossetians who lived in the Kartli mountains considered themselves fugitives. Russian officials had been trying to introduce the invented terms "North Ossetia" and "South Ossetia" from the late 19th century. Until the 19th century, there was no document to prove that the Shida Kartli mountains might have been called Ossetia. In reality, in 1774, the Russian Empire was joined by just the Ossetian communes of the three Caucasian valleys: Alagir, Kurtat and Tagauri. The fourth commune, Digoria, was in Kabarda and joined Russia in 1781. As for the northern part of Shida Kartli, where the Autonomous District of South Ossetia
was subsequently established, it first was a part of Single Georgia, then of the Kartli Kingdom and finally of the KartlKakheti Kingdom. The materials attached to the Treaty of Georgievsk of 1783 allow us to assert that the northern part of Shida Kartli, with its northernmost edge Dvaleti, was a province of the Kartli-Kakheti Kingdom (in XVII century Giorgi Saakadze was the Governor of Dvaleti). Following the annexation of Georgia by Russia in 1801, the northern part of Shida Kartli, together with Dvaleti, was joined to the Imereti Governorate, then to the Gori district of the Tbilisi Governorate. In 1858, by the decree of the Viceroy of Caucasia Alexander Bariatinski, Dvaleti was transferred to the Okrug Ossetia. Thus, to the North Ossetia was joined only Dvaleti and not the entire territory of Shida Kartli, where the “South Ossetian Autonomous District” was subsequently formed. It is noteworthy that the term "South Ossetia" began coming into use in the 1860s. Before, in all the official documents of Russia, Ossetians residing in Georgia were referred to with the quite correct term - Ossetians of North Kartli. After the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918, as the October Revolution demolished the Russian Empire, Dvaleti reentered Georgia. By the agreement signed between Russia and the Democratic Republic of Georgia on May 7, 1920, the Georgian-Russian border was delimited as passing along the main ridge of the Caucasus and, naturally, Dvaleti, the northernmost part of Shida Kartli remained part of Georgia. Russia intended to annex the Shida Kartli region and for that reason tried to stir up a conflict between Ossetians and Georgians. Soviet Russia managed to provoke an armed uprising in Ossetia and Shida Kartli with the aim of establishing Soviet power in "South Ossetia," wresting it from Georgia and annexing it to Russia. After that, they could occupy the entire Republic of Georgia. In 1920, Soviet Russia and the Bolsheviks supported rebellious Ossetians in establishing the Soviet power in South Ossetia and declaring the territory part of Soviet Russia. This act went against all international standards: the territorial integrity of Georgia was blatantly violated and the opinion and will of the Georgian population ignored. The decree by the Caucasus Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) of March 23, 1920 reads: "1. Organize a revolutionary committee in South Ossetia ... 2. Declare Soviet power ... 3. Immediately form an armed detachment. 4. Get in touch with North Ossetia ... release 100 thousand rubles (one hundred thousand rubles) at the disposal of the Revolutionary Committee. The documents include this report: ” Moscow, Central Committee of the RCP (B), Comrades Lenin and Chicherin. In compliance with the order of the Caucasian Regional Committee of March 23, confirmed by special couriers of the same Committee ... Soviet power was proclaimed on June 8 in South Ossetia.” There are other documents too, which make clear who was inciting Ossetians to a fratricidal war. Thus, accusing the Georgian "nationalist chauvinist" government of the genocide of the Ossetian people is immoral, to say the least. In February 1921, the insidious plan of Soviet Russia and the Bolshevik Party against the will of the Georgian people was implemented, which was, in fact, another annexation of Georgia (for the second time). Thus, Soviet Russia violated the agreement of May 7, 1920. In April 1922, Bolsheviks granted so-called South Ossetia the status of autonomous
district, without any legal grounds whatsoever. As for North Ossetia, historic homeland of Ossetians, after two years (July 1924), it was granted the status of an autonomous republic and remained in Russia. The “South Ossetian autonomous district” was made up of more-or-less Ossetian-settled lands and “supplemented” with a Georgian city of Tskhinvali (according to the “Кавказский календарь” of 1900, Tskhinvali by that time was settled with Georgians, Georgian Jews, and Armenians) together with several Georgian villages around the city. This happened with use of force and caused the fair outrage of the Georgian population (materials from the book ‘History of Relations between Georgian and Ossetian Peoples,’ Tb., 1991, pp. 56-73). The creation of an autonomous district in which the Georgian population became a minority in its own homeland was a gross violation of both human and national rights and freedoms. We should emphasize here that in Georgia, Ossetians had been granted all the conditions necessary for the development of their culture and economy. In the years of 1990-91, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were 100 Ossetian high schools in Georgia, with 90 of them in South Ossetia. Education in each was given in the Ossetian language, with the Ossetian language and literature taught as independent subjects. In Tskhinvali there was a Pedagogical Institute, an Institute of Teacher Retraining, an agricultural college, medical, musical and art schools, vocational and technical schools, and more. According to the 1979 census, South Ossetia was ranked second in the Soviet Union by the number of university graduates per capita. In 1927, the Institute of Regional Geography was established, to be later transformed into the Institute of South Ossetian Language, Literature and History (within the Academy of Sciences of Georgia). In Tskhinvali several volumes of the History of Ossetia (documents and materials), two volumes of the History of South Ossetia, a four-volume Explanatory dictionary of the Ossetian language, a three-volume collection of Ossetian tales, several volumes of the History of Ossetian literature, and a collection of Ossetian songs (with musical notes) were prepared and published. Functioning in Tskhinvali were a State National Theater, the Museum of Regional Geography, an Art Gallery, and a Public Library, as were associations of writers, artists, composers; a musical and choreographic society, and a national ensemble of song and dance. In South Ossetia, the radio was broadcasting in the native language; newspapers, magazines, and fiction were published also in Ossetian. In 1988, in the autonomous district of South Ossetia had published about 5 times more books for each 10 thousand Ossetians than in North Ossetia, with 3 times more copies. As we see, the Georgian state and people provided Ossetians every opportunity for national-cultural, socio-political and economic development. As for the autonomous republic of North Ossetia, which was a part of Russia, here is a small excerpt from a publication by A, Galazov, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of North Ossetia, that describes the state of affairs: “I am always sincerely sorry for young people of my nationality, when, despite a knowledge of foreign languages and world civilization, they feel uncomfortable at home due to the ignorance of the elementary foundations of Ossetian culture ... Continued on page 6
JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Iran-US Tensions Are Unlikely to Spill into War OP-ED BY EMIL AVDALIANI
o the south of Georgia trouble is brewing as Iran and the US (and its allies) are almost openly engaged in a military competition around the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. True, Georgia does not share a border with Iran, but its close economic and cultural relations with Tehran might be further endangered. It is unlikely that the US will tolerate Georgia’s neutral position in a potential conflict between the two states. Therefore, the Georgian government will find itself in a difficult position but will most likely act according to wider US interests in the South Caucasus. Even if a military conflict does not ensue (as explained below), Georgian-Iranian relations will take a hit. The US recently announced plans to set up a multinational military coalition to protect the waters around Iran and Yemen, particularly commercial routes where about $554 billion worth of trade, mainly oil and gas, passes through the Straits of Hormuz each year. The military confrontation between Iran and the US could cause disruption, costing the biggest trader, Saudi Arabia, $3.5 billion a week, but also negatively impacting many Asian shippers.
This comes on top of what happened last month when Iran came close to war with the US after Tehran’s unprecedented decision to shoot-down a US drone with a surface-to-air missile. Back then, the US officials, including President Donald Trump, said that this could trigger retaliatory strikes. According to various sources, Trump green-lighted a limited air-strike against Iran’s surface military capabilities but cancelled the decision some minutes later when fighters were in the air. The root of Iranian-American tensions lies in the differences regarding Tehran’s nuclear program. Washington abandoned the nuclear agreement the world powers reached in 2015 and Iran recently announced it has reached a high level of uranium production. The tensions, as said above, induced the US and its allies, primarily in the Persian Gulf, to create a coalition. This is a very good example of what kind of future naval coalitions the US will be able to muster to prevent a certain group of countries from controlling vital economic choke points such as the Strait of Hormuz or the Strait of Malacca in Asia. But this also raised an alarm among politicians and the world’s analytical community that we might see a military confrontation between the US (and its allies) and Iran. First, it should be emphasized that Iranians understand well that a military confrontation would be deadly
Image source: inhomelandsecurity.com
for the country’s economy, leading to potential unrest in various regions. Second, a military confrontation with the US is simply beyond the Iranian resource base. However, it is also true that the US does not want to engage Iran as the latter is a completely different story from what the American forces did during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. And it is not about Iran’s far superior military capabilities than those of Iraq: the major difference lies in geographic factors.
A look at the map shows that Iran’s major population centers are surrounded by almost impregnable mountains and deserts as well as water barriers. In the west and northwest are the Zagros Mountains, which bar Iran from Iraq. In the north, the Elburz Mountains as well as Armenia’s mountainous lands serve as a defensive shield. The Caspian Sea to the north and the Arabian Sea to the south are yet more impregnable barriers. To the east and northeast lie the
harsh climate of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Turkmenistan’s semi-barren steppelands keep Iran’s provinces more or less safe (barring occasional attacks by nomadic peoples). The fact of being both geographically contained and geographically defended has defined the Iranian grand strategy from the ancient Persian empires to modern Iran. The country’s mountains and deserts have made it almost impossible to conquer and then keep under control. Consider, for example, several of history’s greatest conquerors. The Mongols and, later Tamerlane successfully invaded the Iranian plateau, but to keep it, they either had to deploy tens of thousands of troops (which they were unable to do) or co-opt the local population (which they did) by allowing them to participate in the country’s governance. The same goes for Alexander the Great, Iran’s most successful conqueror. Following his conquest of the land, he co-opted the local elites to hold onto the state – and after he died, Iran quickly regained its independence. Iran and the US want to avoid a direct military clash, but also do not want to lose their face among their respective allies. Still, the attempts to diminish tensions between the two powers become less and less effective as Iran grows its nuclear-related capabilities and the US sees less and less room to entice Tehran into a mutually beneficial understanding.
What Are Moscow's Preconditions for Abolishing a Ban on Flights with Georgia? Continued from page 3 “We hope that the Georgian authorities will be able to stabilize the socio-political situation in the country and eliminate the existing threats to the security of Russians. If this happens, the necessary conditions will be created to consider the possibility of abolishing the precautionary measures taken by Russia, including the ban on air transportation to Georgia. We want to be friends and cooperate for the benefit of the citizens of Russia and Georgia.” Earlier this month, Lavrov also said Moscow suspects that Washington is trying to inhibit Russia and Georgia from
normalizing their ties. Georgian journalists asked the founder and Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party, Bidzina Ivanishvili to comment on Lavrov’s statements. “What happened in Rustavi 2 is a shame not only for that TV company but for our whole country and our culture and identity… Of course I condemn Gabunia’s action and it was judged by the whole of Georgian society,” Ivanishvili said. He did not comment on Lavrov’s other statements. A number of Georgian opposition parties claim the ruling party and Kremlin have a similar narrative in demanding a proper response to Rustavi 2 and stabi-
lizing the socio-political situation in Georgia. Khatia Dekanoidze, member of the United National Movement, which is often linked with Rustavi 2, says that Moscow directly tasked Georgia to attack the pro-western opposition and silence TV station Rustavi 2. “Lavrov’s statements see an interference in the domestic affairs of Georgia. The government should give him a proper response,” she said. Opposition European Georgia also believes that Lavrov’s statements are synchronized with the Georgian government’s comments. “For both the Georgian government and Moscow, it is important to silence all free
channels where Georgian society freely expresses its position. Their position is also similar regarding Rustavi 2,” party MP Zurab Chiaberashvili said. Head of the National-Democratic party in Georgia, Bachuki Kardava, says the Kremlin’s target at present is Rustavi 2, pro-western opposition and anti-occupation rally participants of Georgian society. “Lavrov believes his ally in Georgia is Ivanishvili and his government. The authorities have become the puppets of the Kremlin,” Kardava stressed. Large-scale anti-Russian protests were launched in Tbilisi on June 20 on the visit of Russian parliamentarians. The dem-
onstrations were sparked by a session of the General Assembly of the International Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). Following the approved protocol, Head of the Russian delegation, State Duma MP Sergey Gavrilov, who is the IAO president, took the Speaker’s seat in the Georgian parliament. Outraged by this action, the Georgian opposition disrupted the event and outside protests ended in an attempt to break into the parliament building. The Russian MPs had to leave the country and the assembly was wrapped up. On June 21, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning Russian airlines from flying to Georgia which took effect on July 8.
On Some Issues of the History of Georgia Continued from page 4 National youth, for example, deprived of their native language. Until last year, in North Ossetia there was in fact not a single school with the Ossetian language of education.” (Pravda newspaper, 1989, 11 – XI). No comments. Against the historical truth goes the allegation by the secessionists that Georgia, or even only Western Georgia, was ever part of Abkhazia. The history falsifiers argue allegedly that in the 70s of the seventh century, Leon II, Prince of Abkhazia, who at last broke free from Byzantine rule, declared himself the King of Abkhazia and shifted the capital from Anakophia to Kutaisi. In reality, at that time, as well as for many centuries before, Kutaisi had been one of the strongest political and cultural centers of Georgia. In reality, the announcement of Leon II and the transfer of the capital became possible only due to the strong support of Georgian political circles. All in all, we can boldly state that: 1. The Kingdom of Abkhazia was a Georgian kingdom 2. The kings of Abkhazia were Georgians by their cultural belonging and 3. Their strategic political course had always been in line with Georgian domestic and foreign policy. For centuries, they worked for the unification of the Georgian state. On the basis of this, we can conclude that the declaration of Kutaisi as the capital of the Kingdom of Abkhazia was not indicative that Kutaisi, Imereti, and all Western Georgia were part of Abkhazia, but just the other way around: it once again proves that Abkhazia was part of the Kingdom of Georgia. About another falsification. As proof
that Abkhazia has always been independent, separatists and their supporters claim that Abkhazia joined Russia voluntarily in 1810, whereas Georgia joined in 1801. This is a deception. It is well known from history that in 1801, Russia annexed only the eastern part of Georgia - the Kingdom of Kartli and Kakheti. Western Georgia, the Kingdom of Imereti, the principalities of Guria and Samegrelo, were annexed by Russia separately, in different years, over the course of more than 30 years. Russia annexed Abkhazia in parts: Samurzakano in 1805, Abkhazia proper in 1810, Tsebelda in the 1830s. Interestingly, the 1810 appeal to the Russian Emperor to join Abkhazia to Russia was written in the Georgian language. When Georgia became Soviet in 1921, Abkhazia was a part of Georgia and remained so thereafter. Therefore, nobody could transfer this territory to Georgia, be it Russia or Stalin. The treaty of May 7, 1920 recognized Abkhazia as an integral part of Georgia. The territory of modern Abkhazia, despite the well-known unfounded claims (approved by Russian officials), has historically always been an organic part of the Georgian ethnic and political state (see Z. Papaskiri, ‘On the Social-State Image of Abkhazia / Georgia,’ Tb. 2003). On June 11, 1918, an agreement was signed between the People’s Council of Abkhazia and the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, by which Abkhazia was united with the rest of Georgia with the right to autonomy. This decision was approved by the newly elected People’s Council of Abkhazia on March 20, 1919. On October 16, 1920, the Constitution of Abkhazia was adopted, which emphasized
the autonomous status of Abkhazia within the Democratic Republic of Georgia. This provision, in turn, was enshrined in the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, adopted by the Constituent Council on February 21, 1921. After the overthrow of the independent Georgian government and the establishment of Soviet power on December 16, 1921, Abkhazia entered Georgia under a special "Union Agreement," as a "Treaty Republic," although from the very beginning it was actually considered an autonomous unit of Georgia. In 1931, Abkhazia was transformed into an autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASPR) of Georgia. Until August 2008, Russia recognized Abkhazia as integral part of Georgia. In 1864, the last ruler of Abkhazia, Mikhail Shervashidze, and his posterity were permanently deprived of the right to govern Abkhazia, the Principality was abolished, and Abkhazia was named the Sukhumi Military Department. However, the Russian Emperor left Abkhazia as part of Georgia, within the Kutaisi governorate, while the military department was subordinated to the governor-general of Kutaisi. Abkhazia was recognized as part of Georgia throughout the 20th century. In December 1922, Georgia was incorporated into the Soviet Union, not Abkhazia. Abkhazia was part of the Soviet Union only as part of Georgia. Abkhazia never had a separate treaty with Russia, never had a representative in Russia and Russia never had an official representation in Abkhazia, whereas in Georgia it did, and Georgia had its official representation in Russia.
The recognition of Abkhazia as being part of Georgia by Russia, as well as by the Soviet Union, is supported by the very important fact that the communist party of Abkhazia has never been considered as an independent branch, but only within the Communist Party of Georgia; as a party organization of autonomy, with its regional committee subordinated to the central committee of the Communist Party of Georgia. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, independent Russia recognized the territorial integrity of Georgia with Abkhazia as part of it. Despite the fact that after the conflict in Abkhazia, the de facto authorities of the breakaway region held various elections, until 2008, the hand of Russia signed the recognition of the territorial integrity of Georgia in many documents, international ones among them. Among the most significant are documents signed by the President of the Russian Federation and other high-level officials within the Commonwealth of the Independent States, which recognized Abkhazia as an integral part of Georgia. Separatists often argue that they were allowed to secede from Georgia by a UN Declaration of 1970, which reads selfdetermination as one of the main political-legal principles of democratic regulation of national relations. This is true, but they forget that the United Nations also declared three political-legal requirements that must be met: 1. Find out to whom the territory belongs on which the self-determination is requested; 2. Define the ethnic composition of the inhabitants of said area; 3. All the nationalities inhabiting the area should express
the will to secede and not just some. If even one of these three requirments is not met, the UN believes that self-determination cannot be considered. In the case of Abkhazia, all three principles were violated. The fourth principle was violated too, of the international law this time: the principle of inviolability of territorial integrity of the country. It is surprising to hear open statements made by various high and top-level Russian officials that Abkhazia’s independence was a symmetric response to the recognition of Kosovo's independence by the UN. But how could that relate to Georgia? Why should Georgia be punished if Georgia never supported Kosovo's independence? We believe that this is not a symmetrical, but obviously an inadequate and unfair response. The separatist movement began in Abkhazia in the 1950s and was supported by the Soviet leadership. The peak came in the late 80s and early 90s when the separatists managed to stir up a fratricidal war. In the autumn of 1993, largely due to the support of regular Russian military units, Abkhaz secessionists won a "victory" in the armed confrontation with Georgia. For the past 20-25 years, as Georgian authorities could not control them, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali have remained beyond Georgian jurisdiction. We are convinced that we can handle the current global challenges our countries are facing only with a fair assessment of history, our rich common history first of all, through unbiased and fair analysis of historical facts. The Georgian nation has a long and proud history, and it will protect it no matter what happens.
GEORGIA TODAY JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Meet Italian Chef Enzo Neri – Restaurateur, Philanthropist, Designer EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY AMY JONES
eeting Italian chef Enzo Neri on a hot summer’s morning in Vake, it is impossible not to be won over by his infectious Italian flair. He enthusiastically tells his story in an accent loaded with Italian and British tones – a testament to his career which has taken him around the world. From working in Michelin starred restaurants in his native Italy, to heading restaurants on Broadway in New York and Park Lane in London, to establishing the kitchen at Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach and RIVA Beach and setting up a restaurant in Montenegro, Enzo’s CV is impressive. Since coming to Georgia for the first time in 2015, invited by Gia Piradishvili to hold a masterclass event, after which he decided to make the move more permanent in 2017, Enzo has left his mark on the Georgian hospitality scene. He has worked with some of the country’s top restaurants, including La Boheme, Andropov’s Ears, Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, and Bioli Medical Wellness Resort in Kojori. Currently, he is working to develop the food at George Pirahashvili’s ‘II Cortile by Chef Enzo’ in Kakheti. Entering the hospitality industry in Georgia has not always been easy. “There’s a lack of ingredients,” Enzo explains. “Radicchio, fennel… I can’t find it here. Nobody wants to eat it.”
Image source: Enzo Neri
Finding the right service has also been difficult. “Nobody wants to work in hospitality – coming from New York, it was a shock to see the service in Georgia,” Enzo tells GEORGIA TODAY. “In New York, people could earn $400 a day in tips. It was a completely different situ-
ation in Georgia.” Over time, he has built a network of people that he trusts, even sending a team of Georgian staff to run a new restaurant in Kotor in Montenegro. By adapting his menu to suit both Georgian and international tastes and
opening a string of successful restaurants, Enzo has cemented his name on the Georgian culinary scene, especially after creating his signature chocolate khinkali. “There are no borders in food – khinkali, ravioli, it’s the same, just different shapes. I just put two ingre-
dients together.” Enzo is now turning his attention to charitable causes in Georgia. Recently, he helped Nina Gagua to organize a charity project in Dzegvi shelter to help the local community. “People call me the philanthropist chef,” he says. “There was nothing like this when I came to Georgia, I wanted to help.” Enzo worked together with chefs from the Biltmore Hotel in Tbilisi for the event. “I cooked for 78 people including 15 kids with Nina Gagua,” he explains. “I used to do some charity work in New York and London. I wanted to give something back but I couldn’t find a way to do any charity. I couldn’t believe it, I see many people who need help on a daily basis.” They also distributed toys to children in the village. Following the success of the first event, he plans to hold more charitable events in other towns in Georgia in future. He also hopes to complete the construction of a kitchen at the shelter in Dzegvi. But that’s not all. Enzo spotted a gap in the market for chef’s wear in Tbilisi: “There is no company creating decent chef jackets,” he explains. “I do something cool with new designs, as well as classic.” Enzo paired up with textile designer Sofi Zukakishvili to create chef’s clothing for the Georgian market. Together, they have established ‘Zook’s Uniforms by Chef EnZo,’ using quality fabrics and design to create comfortable and stylish chefwear. With so many projects on the go in Georgia, GEORGIA TODAY asks Enzo if he plans to stay: “I think I’m settling down a little bit,” he says with a grin.
JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Big Idea Challenge 2019 BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE
his week, the British Council in Georgia organized an enterprise video pitch competition for the participants of the Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Program. The Creative Spark program is a fiveyear initiative that began in 2018. In 2019, it will fund 12 international partnerships between universities and creative institutions with up to GBP 40,000. The program aims to develop entrepreneurship skills and the creative economy across seven countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine. The primary beneficiaries are university students, graduates and young entrepreneurs. “We believe this initiative will significantly support the development of the creative economy in Georgia, and young creative entrepreneurs will acquire new skills which will, in the longer term, make them competitive for local and international markets. Moreover, the program will support the establishment and development of the British-Georgian University/institutional partnerships,” said the British Council.
Along with other top figures from government and the private sector, Deputy Head of Mission from the UK, Alexandra Cole, attended the competition’s finale on Wednesday, July 17. “Creative Spark is one of the most practical programs we run here. It helps young people turn ideas into income. I’m really glad that I can be here this evening for the final as part of the UK’s support for Georgia’s continued, inclusive economic growth,” said Cole. “Creative Spark is a program we are most proud of...Even at the end of the first year, we are already observing the development of the creative industry infrastructure in the country,” added Zaza Purtseladze, Director of the British Council in the South Caucasus and Georgia. Nino Enukidze, Dean of Faculty at BTU, noted that her university was “very honored to have an opportunity to host the final event of the project,” and that “the project itself was very useful and interesting because it helped creative industries in the country to promote themselves, develop themselves, and position themselves as fast growing international startups, not only on the local market but also on the international market.” On Wednesday evening, selected program participants gathered at Business
Image source: British Council
and Technical University (BTU) to pitch their startups for the Big Idea Challenge. Young people from participating countries were invited to develop innovative startups and share their ideas with the world. The call received more than 300 submissions from the seven program countries,
53 of which came from Georgia alone. The Big Idea Challenge had three categories: digital technology, social impact and creative. One winner in each category and an overall champion were selected by an international panel. In Georgia, the country champion, and winner of the
creative category, was Sapo from BTU, represented by Naili Vakhania and Tengiz Kavkasidze. The digital technology category was won by startup iWant from the Tbilisi State Art Academy (TSAA), represented by Levan Tkemaladze, Giorgi Sheshaberidze, and David Paichadze. Another startup from TSAA won the social impact category – Chu, represented by Salome and Guram Tsikvadze. Fans voted online for the People’s Choice award until July 14, choosing Virtual Tickets from Ilia State University’s Mariami Devnosadze, Sopo Kardenakhishvili, and Revazi Shalashvili. All winners took home prizes of packaged marketing, business support and mentoring for their startups, and receive access to a series of programs, opportunities, and information on professional development. The Country Champion, Sapo, won a study visit to the UK to participate in the upcoming World Championship. The British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Since 1934, they have been working in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society in over 100 countries. Last year the Council reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications.
Delegation of Israel Supports Tourism in Georgia countries to each other, as this is “the only way to establish strong and fruitful ties.” On July 18, the Israeli delegation traveled to the city of Batumi to hold a meeting with Davit Gabaidze, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara. At the meeting, the parties discussed the prospects in terms of increasing the tourist inflow from Israel to the region of Ajara, as well as the number of flights. In addition, the Israeli businessmen also spoke regarding interest in Ajara’s potential. The meeting was attended by Itsik Moshe. Further, within the scope of the visit, guests discovered the sights of Ajara, among them the Batumi Sinagogue, which holds the status of Cultural Heritage. The public demands, it be renovated and given its original appearance. The delegation from Israel then participated in an agreement signing ceremony between Israeli House and the Grigol Robakidze University. The agreement envisages starting teaching ‘Holocaust History’ at the University. In addition, the Israeli guests attended the official ceremony of the launch of the international company MyWay Airlines, mostly serving tourists traveling from Israel to Georgia. It is also planned to open a representation office of the company in Israel soon.
Continued from page 1 On July 17, the Israeli delegation participated in a discussion on the topic ‘Georgian-Israeli Relations,’ organized by Diplomat Magazine, in the Biltmore Tbilisi hotel. At the meeting, the speakers Davit Bitan, Hila Mark, Member of Knesset from the ruling party Likud, and Itsik Moshe, spoke about the relations between the two countries and strongly focused on the untapped potential. The speakers gave thorough responses to attendees’ questions on the possibilities for enhancing ties between Georgia and Israel. “I always say to the members of the government that Georgia is a safe country, where tourists can walk around event at night,” Bitan stated, going on to address the future Georgian diplomats attending the event. “Your work is crucial, while your purity is to be directly reflected on the relations between the two countries.” Moshe noted that the visit of high level Israeli guests in Georgia is of vital importance when there is such high potential for the further cooperation between the two countries. Currently, tourism and investments represent one of the most successful directions within this collaboration. The aim of the IsraelGeorgia Chamber of Business and Israeli House is to better introduce the two
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GEORGIA TODAY JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Events Launched by Origami Company
presentation and the first event of the event company Origami was held at Silk Factory Studio on May 3, seeing Artbat and Marc Romboy among the major headliners there who brought together over 2,000 listeners. Georgian performers Gio Shengelia and 9EYE also took to the stage at the event. The Origami Company is actively cooperating with the livestream platform
“Cercle”. The joint event Polo & Pan (live) is scheduled for July 20 at the Electro Carriage Building Factory. However, this is not the end of the collaboration between the two companies. Along with the Polo & Pan concert, Origami is also set to present the masterclass of “Cercle” on the same date, where the team members of the latter, Derek Barbolla and Philip Tuchman, will share their experience on event organizing and the musical industry.
The A zone, with a separate entrance and bar, will also be ready to serve at the event, ensuring maximum comfort for guests. Aside from various events, Origami is also engaged in the charity auction #ჩვენვაშენებთთეატრს(#WeBuildTheater), which aims to support the Movement Theater and collect resources for the construction of a new theater building. The event company Origami was launched in 2019 and plans to offer diverse events and master classes in future.
The Moscow Times on Demand of Russian Communists to Ban Georgian Food BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA
he visit of the Russian lawmaker to Georgia and his addressing from the seat of the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament has become a matter of strong debates and even confrontations in the last month, leading to the deepening of tensions between the two countries. Following large-scale demonstrations in the Georgian capital, Russia temporarily banned direct flights from Moscow to Tbilisi, claiming it to be a decision for the sake of the Russian citizens. Dis-
cussions on imposing restrictions on importing Georgian wine and mineral water to Russia are also ongoing. The Moscow Times recently published an article on yet another suggestion from the Communists of Russia about Georgia. This time, they demand the banning of the most outstanding dishes of the Georgian cuisine: khinkali and khachapuri, also very popular among Russians, or to rename them. “The Communists of Russia party, which split from the better-known Communist Party in 2012, proposed last week to rename popular Georgian dishes with their Russian approximations. That way, the traditional Georgian dumpling khinkali would instead be branded pel-
meni, a Russian dumpling; and the cheese bread khachapuri would go by pyshki, or fried dough,” reads the article, representing the comment of Yaroslav Sidorov, the Deputy Chief of the Party. “We submitted this demand because we want adequate responses to the disrespect emanating from Georgia,” stated Sidorov, noting that it is unlikely that the appeal will be approved but that there is a hope “it will spark a reaction”. The Moscow Times also introduces the results of a study by the RBC, according to which, the demand for khinkali dropped by 19%, and by 13% in the case of khachapuri, in Russia between July 1 and July 10, in comparison with the same period of 2018.
JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Capacity Building Trainings on the Topic of WaSH
ithin the EU-funded project, “Water for the Poor,” CENN organized three sessions of WaSH Capacity Building trainings in the months of June and July. About 100 local actors from seven municipalities in the Kakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions attended the trainings. Participants included active citizens, municipality and NGO representatives, journalists, teachers and students. The aim of the workshop was to build the capacity of stakeholders and target groups regarding their understanding of WaSH topics and techniques for writing project proposals. The first day of the training was devoted to discussions and lectures on topics ranging from access to clean water to the intersectionality of WaSH topics with other human rights. Lectures were coupled with activities, case study analyses, and visuals intended to deepen the attendees’ understanding of WaSH as a human right. “At CENN, we believe that access to clean water that is safe, drinkable and physically and economically accessible for personal and household needs is a basic human right,” stated Melano Tkabladze, Project Manager of the “Water for the Poor” initiative.. By working with local communities at the municipal level, we hope to mainstream WaSH topics and build the capacity of vulnerable groups and other stakeholders in our target regions.” During the second day of the session, participants were presented with a grant manual addressing the following WaSH topics: healthcare and social welfare, education and awareness raising, small infrastructure project implementation, and environment and natural resource management. Participants were then divided into teams and started to work within the context of their municipalities and learned about and developed project proposals addressing WaSH issues in their communities. Upon the conclusion of the workshop series, participants had produced 15 distinct proposals. With the knowledge and skills obtained through-
out the workshop, participants should be better equipped to engage in active lobbying and advocating for WaSH issues in their communities. The Mayor of Lagodekhi Municipality, Jondo Mdivnishvili, reflected on the trainings, stating that: “Municipalities play a big role in trying to solve WaSHrelated problems. Therefore, attending events like the WaSH Capacity Building Trainings is important for us. The experiences gained by myself and other members from Lagodekhi Municipality will help guide us in responding to questions relating to water accessibility as a human right. After the trainings, we made the conscious decision to continue working more actively in this field to ensure Lagodekhi Municipality residents have the right to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.” In the upcoming week, CENN will be
releasing a grant competition related to WaSH topics. Municipalities from the trainings will be allowed to participate and the grant will be an opportunity for the seven municipalities to implement the technical skills they developed during the workshop. The aforementioned capacity-building events were organized under the EUsupported project “Water for the Poor,” which is implemented by CENN in partnership with the Human Rights Center (HRC) and the Women and the World (WW) Association.
GEORGIA TODAY JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Wedding Dash: Jasper, Canada as it was COOL outside! The rain continued, but not for long. Speeches began, with two of my other younger relatives as MCs. I inserted an impromptu toast using the long, spiraling “leader goat” drinking horns I had brought just for this event and as a gift. The guests added “JOS!” to my “Gaumar…” (cheers) nice and loudly three times as required. My present also included a selection of the best Georgian food products in a hamperbag: churchkhela, spices, sauces, wine in a Svan tower clay bottle, wine vinegar, a Barambo chocolate box and more. There had to be a Georgian element in the proceedings! Food was a buffet taken table by table; there was no wedding cake this time. It was all very light-hearted, fun, joyous, meeting new people as our two families came together, mixing primarily German ancestry (the groom) with British (bride’s mother) and Chinese (her father), rather typical for multicultural Canada. It was a weekend I will never forget, and I wish the lovely happy young couple, now camping around British Columbia on their honeymoon, all the best as they embark on this new adventure.
BLOG BY TONY HANMER
aving been supposed to alternate Canada and Svaneti articles while away for a few weeks, I find myself mixing the themes up in this one, simply because that’s where I’m at. I was asked by my niece and her fiancé to officiate at their wedding a while ago near Jasper, in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. This was a huge honor, my first such. Because I am not licensed to perform ceremonies resulting in a legally defined marriage anywhere, the couple had the legal side performed a bit earlier, and left the rest up to me. We arrived the day before for a rehearsal, dodging further reports of the wet weather which has plagued summer here thus far. The setting: a spot on the Athabasca River bank, at the end of the road of Jasper airbase for small planes, with wooden seats and a plank gazebo which reminded me of a Japanese Shinto shrine. All around us was the glory of the mountains, a 360-degree panorama of splendor. Back at our hotel, elk does came around grazing. We had already seen mountain goats on the main road, and a bear off it not far away: typical for the area. I would also see a loon, most haunting of birds, with chick on its back on the lake the next day. 4 pm was the big moment. I had been allowed to dress as I wanted, within reason, and eschewed the strict formality
of a dark suit for a multicolored silk vest over reds and purples, with a traditional gray felt Svan hat nodding to my chosen homeland of the last 20 years. The bride was hardly late at all, and we began. I received the bride from her parents; gave a short speech about the event and relationship; led them through their vows and exchange of rings (hers of gold, his of black silicone, engineer’s choice) and allowed them to kiss. It was over.
We had all been instructed to take umbrellas, looking at weather reports. Indeed, the clouds had been amassing. But, kindly, they held off releasing their load until I was unhurriedly finished. This was the time for me to step aside and let the chosen photographer do her job, with the main wedding party hoisting clear umbrellas, a lovely, lighthearted event as the spitting began. I was most relieved not to be shooting, as I rarely
do this for weddings, not considering myself a professional in the genre and finding it quite stressful. We departed for the reception party. Once more a divergence from the Georgian traditions I’ve grown used to. We went to a horse-riding facility near Pyramid Lake and entered a large-roofed gazebo with fold-down partial walls, a fire in the center and gas heaters hanging from the conical ceiling: just as well
Tony Hanmer has lived in Georgia since 1999, in Svaneti since 2007, and been a weekly writer for GT since early 2011. He runs the “Svaneti Renaissance” Facebook group, now with nearly 2000 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
Nenskra Hydro Launches Info Campaign to Promote Domestic Tourism in Svaneti
The company will construct a high-dam HPP in Mestia Municipality, in the valleys of the Nenskra and Nakra. The HPP with 280 MW of installed capacity will
enskra Hydro JSC, the Nenskra Hydropower Plant (HPP) project company, has launched an information campaign to promote domestic tourism in Svaneti. The campaign will last three months and will include activities in the media, as well as on social media. “Nenskra and Nakra valleys, where the Nenskra HPP project is being implemented, is little-known to Georgian and foreign tourists,” said Teimuraz Kopadze, Chief Operating Officer of JSC Nenskra Hydro. “I believe that within a few years, when
our project improves the internal infrastructure, local small businesses will develop and various tourist attractions will be created, changing the situation entirely. At present, there are about 20 guesthouses operating in both valleys. Generally, people employed by the Nenskra HPP project live there. Since the promotion of domestic tourism became relevant this summer, we decided to contribute to it and, as our project is being implemented in Svaneti, we will dedicate our information campaign to this beautiful region.” JSC Nenskra Hydro operates in the
villages of Mestia Municipality - Chuberi and Nakra, where many social projects are being implemented, including projects which support tourism development (English language and computer classes, guesthouse management training, land registration support and improvement of internal infrastructure). Since 2017 to date, JSC Nenkra Hydro has spent around $400,000 on social projects. JSC Nenskra Hydro was founded in 2015 as an outcome of cooperation between K-Water, Korea Water Resource Corporation, and JSC Partnership fund.
annually provide Georgia with total energy generation of 1'200.00 GWh which will be fully consumed by the local energy market.
JULY 19 - 22, 2019
WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER
Pantomime Festival 2019 GEORGIAN STATE PANTOMIME THEATER 37 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 63 14 July 19 Opening of festival "The Wishing tree" Young Georgian Artists Start time: 20:00 Ticket 5 GEL July 20 Polo&Pan (live) Start time: 20:00 Ticket 5 GEL July 21 Closing of festival "Premiere" Start time: 20:00 Ticket 5 GEL GABRIADZE THEATER 13 Shavtelis St. TEL (+995 32) 2 98 65 93 July 19, 20 THE AUTUMN OF MY SPRINGTIME Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30, 40 GEL July 21 STALINGRAD Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30, 40 GEL MUSEUM
GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM SIMON JANASHIA MUSEUM 3 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 299 80 22, 293 48 21 www.museum.ge Exhibitions: GEORGIAN COSTUME AND WEAPONRY OF THE 18TH-20TH CENTURIES NUMISMATIC TREASURY EXHIBITION STONE AGE GEORGIA ARCHEOLOGICAL TREASURE NEW LIFE TO THE ORIENTAL COLLECTIONS Until September 10
Under the joint initiative of Georgian National Museum and Georgian Post, Exhibition: STORY TOLD BY POSTAGE STAMPS Dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the first Georgian stamp. Until August 31 Multimedia technology exhibitionIMMAGICA. A JOURNEY INTO BEAUTY An impressive journey within time, introducing us to Italian paintings of the XIV-XIX centuries; a combination of voice, lighting, immersive visual and multimedia. Giotto– ‘Ognissanti Madonna’ and the ‘Scrovegni Chapel,’ Leonardo da Vinci– ‘Annunciation,’ Botticelli– ‘The Birth of Venus’ and ‘Spring,’ Raffaello– ‘The Madonna of the Goldfinch, Bellotto– ‘Piazza San Marco,’ ‘Castello Sforzesco,’ Canaletto– “The Chapel of Eton College”, Canova– ‘Amor e Psyche’ and ‘The Graces’. IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM - KARVASLA 8 Sioni St. TEL (+995 32) 2 98 22 81 Until September 10 The Georgian National Museum within the project "Contemporary Art Gallery" presents Vakho Bugadze's exhibition: ‘Three, Four" Together with Vakho Bughadze are artists Gogi Okropiridze and Katrin Bolt. Within the framework of the exhibition, documentary film about Vakho Bugadze will be presented. MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION 4 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge The exhibition hall is equipped with monitors, where visitors can see documentaries of various historical events. The exhibition also includes one of the train carriages in which the participants of the national uprising of 1924 were executed. It is also dedicated to the history of the antioccupational, national-liberation movement of Georgia and to the victims of the Soviet political repression throughout this period. MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS 10 Betlemi Str.
Discover the Museum of Illusions Be brave enough to jump into an illusion created by the Vortex, deform the image of yourself in a Mirror Room, be free in the Infinity room, resist the laws of gravity and size ratio, and take selfies in every possible pose. Enjoy the collection of holograms, and discover optical illusions.
July 23 Jam Session Musical art director- Sandro Nikoladze Start time: 20:30 Ticket: 5 GEL
MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS 10 Betlemi Str.
July 25 Ethnic Dinner Show "Gaumarjos" Introducing cultural performance on the history of Georgia, traditions and culture, performed by professional dancers and singers, along with a culinary performance by an executive chef, pairing delicious Georgian cuisine and wine. Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 120 GEL
THE MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS The unique collection of the museum aims to provoke feelings of understanding among individuals and serve as some kind of therapy for those who have experience break-ups.
RIKE Touristic center "Gamarjoba", Next to Bridge of Peace
THE NATIONAL GALLERY 11 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 215 73 00 Until February 26 (2020) GRAND MASTERS FROM THE GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM COLLECTION XIX – XX CENTURY MUSIC
SOUNDS OF GEORGIA July 19, 20, 24, 25 SING AND DRINK Mini concerts in the cozy atmosphere of Old Tbilisi, a mix of traditional Georgian music of different genres: folklore, a capella, guitar, and Georgian pop and city songs. Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 24 GEL Venue: July 14- 10 Erekle II Sq., Tekla Palace Hotel, July 15- New Tiflis, 9 Agmashenebeli Ave., Wine bar ‘Wine Station’, July 17- Corner of 2 Turgenev Str., and 37 Javakhishvili Str. July 18- Europe Square, 2 D. Megreli Str., Hotel “Nata” MOVEMENT THEATER 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 598 19 29 36 July 20 DADE BITI LINE UP: Michèl DJ Set Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 5 GEL
FOLKLORE CONCERTS FOR TOURISTS Sanapiro Str. Bldg 2. Every Sunday Every Sunday July 21 Folklore Evenings of Ensemble EGARI Ensemble offers folklore events in order to popularize Georgian folk music with tourists. The concerts will present songs, trisagions, instrumental music, dance, urban folklore from diferent parts of Georgia and ethno-jazz music. Guest will hear live polyphony and a diversity of instruments (Salamuri, Panduri, Chonguri, Chiboni, Doli). Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 50 GEL GEORGIAN FOLK SHOW 10 Rustaveli Ave. Every Tuesday, Friday, Sunday July 19, 22, 25 The first full and systematic folk show for tourists. Visit Georgia’s regions in one hour through its world-renowned folklore. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 40 GEL MTATSMINDA PARK July 19 TREEBAL & AHOORA FESTIVAL: PROMO PARTY LINE UP: Earthling [Zero1 Music] Acidwave [TREEBAL] Arishtat [Katayy Records] Obri & Zen [TREEBAL] SkyVibes [Occulta Records] Common Tense [2to6 Records] Tranquilogen [Ahoora Festival] Start time: 23:00 Ticket: 30-40 GEL SPACE LOUNGE 22 Bakhtrioni Str. July 20 Master Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 10 GEL ELECTRO CARRIAGE BUILDING FACTORY 30/32 Dadiani Ave. July 20 Polo and Pan Hedonistic dance music with a taste of solar pop. French artist and the Art director of ''Cercle''- Phil Dark Start time: 00:00 Ticket: 70-200 GEL
ADJARA BLACK SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL Batumi Tennis Club July 19 Kraak & Smaak / MOKUMOKU Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 100-200 GEL July 19 Black Sea Jazz Festival AFTER PARTY Start time: 23:55 Ticket: 40 GEL Venue: Alphabet Tower July 20 INCOGNITO Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 100-200 GEL July 20 Black Sea Jazz Festival AFTER PARTY Start time: 23:55 Ticket: 60 GEL Venue: Alphabet Tower SECTOR26 Seafront Promenade July 20 Aquarius Heaven live, Bacho Svanidze DJ (Svansikh) Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 40 GEL Venue: Alphabet Tower UP2YOU Seafront Promenade July 19 DJ SPILLER Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 50 GEL BATUMI SUMMER THEATER Batumi Boulevard July 20 MISA Gala concert Pianist Shorena Tsintsabadze, founder and ideological inspirer, presents the International Summer Academy of Music (MISA) Conductor- Georgy Revishvili Start time: 19:00 Free entry July 21-25 The art school of M. Balanchivadze will host the second international pianist competition MISA GRAND PRIX Start time: 19:00 Free entry BATUMI TENNIS CLUB Batumi Boulevard July 20 INCOGNITO After Party: Georgian pioneer DJ Machaidze– enjoy harmonic house music, a selection which contains: Funky House, Disco House, Jazz House and Soulful House. Start time: 20:00 BATUMGORA Venue: Cable car Argo FOLKLORE SHOWS EVERY DAY All summer, you can attend traditional folk shows every day from 8 pm. Enjoy UNESCO recognized traditional folk dances and songs, a Georgian drum show and masterclasses in dancing 250 meters above sea level. Start time: 20:00
GEORGIA TODAY JULY 19 - 22, 2019
Georgia to Host WorldFamous Verdi Festival BY LIKA CHIGLADZE
or the first time, Georgia will host the Verdi International Opera Festival as a tribute to the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Every year, Verdi’s hometowns of Parma and Busseto vibrate with unique colors and fragrances when the Verdi Festival comes to life, attracting millions of opera enthusiasts to Italy from all over the world. This time, and for the first time, the festival is moving beyond the borders of Italy and traveling to Georgia, something some say is an unprecedented phenomenon. On August 23, 2018, Opera and Ballet Theater Artistic Director Badri Maisuradze signed a 3-year contract with the Verdi International Festival, giving the Tbilisi Opera Theater the exclusive right to hold the Festival in Georgia’s capital as well as other cities across the country. The joint initiative of the two countries is supported by the Government and Senate of the Republic Italy. “For the first time, the festival will be opened in Georgia, since we host the festival in August, while the event takes place in Italy in September,” Maisuradze told GEORGIA TODAY. “The centuryold festival kicks off in Tbilisi Opera Theater on August 16 and ends on August 25 in the Black Sea Arena, Shekvetili. The Verdi Festival was founded under the patronage of the great maestro’s family. At the decision of the commission of
the festival, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater obtained the exclusive right to hold the festival in Georgia, which is a historic fact. Giuseppe Verdi is a composer whose pieces are performed most often in the world’s different theaters. Moreover, last year, the Verdi Festival claimed the prize of the Best Festival. It has never been held in other countries before in the entire course of its existence. So, this is a great honor and prestigious occasion, something our theater and country should be very proud of.” The Verdi Festival program is as follows: August 16 - The festival opens with a premiere of Teatro Regio di Parma’s production of Un Ballo In Maschera (A Masked Ball) at Tbilisi Opera Theater, involving Georgian artists of the venue. A masterpiece in the world of opera, the performance was staged in Georgia many years ago and now the Georgian audience will have the chance to enjoy the amazing show once again. August 23 – The Black Sea Arena will see the first-ever opera performance held at its venue after hosting such big names as Black Eyed Peas, Aerosmith, and Robert Plant. The audience will be able to enjoy well-known classic Aida by the Arena di Verona Festival of Italy. The show in Georgia will be performed by foreign guest actors. August 25 – The festival closes with the grand Opera Gala presenting pieces by Verdi at the Black Sea Arena. The final concert will include foreign opera stars. “Festival Verdi is one of the most pres-
tigious festivals in the world,” Giorgi Andzguladze, Deputy Artistic Director of the Tbilisi Opera, told us. “Classical music enthusiasts will be able to enjoy spectacular productions of the world’s leading theaters in Georgia. Such international stars as Daniela Barcellona (Mezzo soprano), Susanna Branchini (soprano), Gabriele Viviani (baritone) and many others will be part of this amazing festival.” The Festival is supported by Mediaset (an Italian media outlet) which is making a documentary about it that will be broadcast in 15 European countries. Winners of a number of prizes, the broadcast team will visit Georgia to cover the festival and the country in line with the highest standards. “This festival is equally important for Georgia as well as for our theater, since such projects are essential for the professional development of the troupe,” Eka Gelashvili, the Deputy Artistic Director of Tbilisi Opera Theater, told us. “I would like to thank each member of the theater, who, throughout the entire season, has committed themselves to their job. Thanks to their significant effort, the Tbilisi Opera Theater saw a number of opera and ballet premieres as well as important concerts and many projects.” Festival Verdi in Georgia is aimed at positioning Georgia as a cultural center in the region and will foster the development of cultural tourism in the country as well as promote Georgia as a tourist destination on the world map. “The show will be held at its best and will be technically well-organized. The
event which annually takes place at the Arena di Verona allows thousands of people to listen to opera performers from different countries of the world. This is the first time Georgia, in particular the Black Sea Arena, is to host such a huge crew. And we are eager for more!” Tato
Kharchilava, Director of Black Sea Arena told GEORGIA TODAY. The festival is implemented with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia within the framework of the European Union program "Georgia, Europe."
Biennale Art 2019 & Georgian Artist Anna K.E.
BY MARIAM MERABISHVILI
enice, Italy, is in the spotlight once again for its annual Biennale Art Exhibition. The 58th edition, in 2019, titled ‘May You Live in Interesting Times,’ is on from May 11 to 24 November. One of the most prominent and important exhibitions in the art world, it is curated by Ralph
Rugoff, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, and chaired by Paolo Baratta. The central international exhibition is located in two separate points: at the Giardini and Arsenale (parts of Venice) and encompasses participants from 79 countries. The Biennale 2019 presents contemporary artworks in huge pavilions, devoting increased attention to learning activities and innovations from youngsters. Exhibits for Biennale 2019 include art, architecture, cinema, dance, music,
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theater, and historical archives. Artists from 79 countries are presenting their illustrations, paintings, drawings, sculptures, immersive illustrations, videos, designs, innovative technologies, modernized old goods, and more. The Venice Biennale is very important for Georgians because among those 79 countries, Georgian artist Anna K.E. was chosen to represent Georgia this year. Her contemporary art presentation titled ‘RearMirrorView, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation….,’ was picked for the list, alongside works for the national pavilions of Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia, Poland, Ukraine and Romania, each of which boast a truly distinct context. Anna K.E presents a new largescale architectural environment, which encompasses her work in video, sculpture, performance and installation. Anna K.E.’s videos, illustration and sculpture are based on the original Georgian alphabet, Asomtavruli. Water circulates through the letters, which spell in English the word “deranged,” referring to something that has become disturbed, irrational or unstable. Her works remind us of the fundamental idiosyncrasies we share which keep us human. The twopart work is formed with a combination of different colors and levels and generates a pleasant mood in visitors. The artist’s dedication, Georgian spirit and professionalism are clearly seen. The Georgian work is one of the most exclu-
Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze, Samantha Guthrie, Amy Jones, Thea Morrison, Ana Dumbadze, Ketevan Kvaratskheliya Photographer: Irakli Dolidze
sive among the whole exhibition and has grabbed many a visitor eye so far. The history of modernism, feminism and technologies can also be seen in
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Tbilisi-born Anna K.E.’s work, which has already been shown in New-York at the Queens Museum and Simone Subal Gallery.
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July 19 - 22, 2019