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Issue no: 1161

• JUNE 21 - 24, 2019 • PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

PRICE: GEL 2.50

In this week’s issue... UNDP, Government of Sweden Promote Extended Producer Responsibility in Georgia NEWS PAGE 3

A Round-Up of the Week’s Political News

FOCUS

ON RUSSIA

Outcry as visiting Russian MP oversteps the mark

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Tbilisi Pride: “I’m Worried People Might Die”

Georgia to Accelerate Privatization of State Property POLITICS PAGE 4

Presentation of Entrepreneur June Issue & Website www.entrepreneur.ge BUSINESS PAGE 6

First Bolnisi Int’l Forum Takes Rural Development Seriously SOCIETY PAGE 7

BY AMY JONES

The IMMAGICA Exhibition: a Journey into Forgotten Forms of Beauty

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ith the first ever Pride taking place in Tbilisi this week, reactions from both the government, right-wing groups and Church have revealed a dark underbelly and readiness for violence in Georgia. On 15 June, businessman Levan Vesadze, who is known for his extreme hate speech and proRussian views, recorded a video address calling on “real” men to create a “people’s legion” to patrol Tbilisi’s streets. “We will not allow the LGBT activists to hold any public action, wherever this happens, in movie theaters, in parks, in the streets, in the mountains or at the lakes,” he said in his video address on June 15. “We will come to you everywhere, we will break through any cordon and we will overwhelm you.” Continued on page 3

POLITICS PAGE 4

Image source - Tbilisi Pride

CULTURE PAGE 11


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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

On the Scandal of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA AND THEA MORRISON

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he arrival of a Russian delegation, headed by Sergey Gavrilov, the Member of the Parliament of the Russian Federation and the President of the General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, which was taking place in Tbilisi June 19-23, was met with protests at the Palace of State Ceremonies in Avlabari and has become a matter of strong debates and even confrontations. Gavrilov's addressing the audience from the seat of the Georgian Parliament Speaker especially escalated the tension, and was followed by large-scale demonstrations of public and the opposition parties, who were claiming that taking into account the occupation policy of Russia, such developments are intolerable. The protesters accused Gavrilov of fighting against Georgia during the war in the 1990s in occupied Abkhazia. They highlighted that Gavrilov initiated a draft law in 2011 providing assistance to de-facto authorities of Georgia’s two Russian occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The demonstrators stressed that MP Gavrilov is Putin’s “ideological ally” and he should not have been allowed into Georgia. The organizer of the rally was the civil movement “Russia Is Occupant.” The members of the United National Movement party displayed the EU and Georgian flags, as well as photos of

Giorgi Antsukhelidze, Giga Otkhozoria, Archil Tatunashvili and other victims of the Russian occupation, at the session hall of the Parliament of Georgia. Gavrilov, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Issues of Public Associations and Religious Organizations of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the State Duma, stated he never participated in any hostilities in Abkhazia and says he believes that Russia and Georgia should resume relations in many directions. "I think we should contribute not only to tourism and business but also to culture, and I want to answer to the fake news released by the Georgian media. I have never participated in any hostilities on the territory of Abkhazia. It’s a lie,” he said. The Russian MP also responded to the question as to whether he feels uncomfortable while in the country, 20% of which is occupied by Russia. “I have no discomfort at all. I am very happy. Georgia is my homeland,” he

responded. The members of the ruling party also stated that seeing the Russian MP on the high tribune was devastating and had not been agreed to. Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze stated in his opening speech that despite their Orthodox Christianity, it is the Russian political leadership that stands behind the occupation of the two Georgian regions. "It is regrettable that the most painful problem of our country - violation of territorial integrity -is the result of the political leadership of our neighboring state professing the same Orthodox Christianity," he addressed the Assembly participants. Kobakhidze stressed it is unacceptable that in the 21st century Russia carries out such an aggressive policy against Georgia. “Georgia will not be defeated with violence because today's political course of the Georgian people is our historic choice,” he added, underlining Georgia’s

Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Kakha Kaladze, the Mayor of Tbilisi soon announced that, due to the recent developments, the Assembly had been cancelled and that the delegation from Russia would leave. After the assembly was canceled, the demonstrators moved to the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel where the politicians were supposed to be. Sergei Gavrilov had to leave the Hotel with the help of guards and Georgian police, as the protesters had blocked the entrances and were throwing bottles and eggs at him. Kakha Okriashvili, the Chairman of the Faction “Georgian Dream – for Regional Development” has demanded preterm elections and said that all those responsible for organizing the Assembly should leave the majority. “I am responding to the recent development in the Georgian Parliament and want to express my views in this respect,” stated Okriashvili. “The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy must not continue. Furthermore, I believe, Geor-

gia, as a state should stop operating in this Assembly.” The Ambassador of Ukraine to Georgia left the reception held within the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in protest when Sergey Gavrilov was delivering his speech. Ambassador Igor Dolgov said that he did not want to hear the speech of the Russian official. The Ukrainian diplomat underlined that Russia continues occupying Ukraine and Georgia and it contradicts all international norms. Zakaria Kutsnashvili, member of the parliamentary majority, has apologized to the Georgian nation. "I understand that the society was irritated to see the Russian Deputy in the chair of the Speaker of Parliament of Georgia. I want to apologize to the public. I realize I should have more intensively worked in the international secretariat," said Kutsnashvili. The Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO.) is an interparliamentary body, set up upon the initiative of the Hellenic Parliament. Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Federation of Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia and Ukraine, as well as, groups of Members of Parliaments from: Australia, Asia, Africa and the USA were participating in the 26th General Assembly of the IAO in Tbilisi. At time of going to press, citizens of Georgia, joined by a number of public figures have blocked the Rustaveli Avenue, protesting the day’s incident and demanding the government take responsibility for it.


NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

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UNDP, Government of Sweden Promote Extended Producer Responsibility in Georgia

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-waste management under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Georgia is the focus of a new project launched this week by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Sweden, in cooperation with the Georgian non-governmental organization GEO (Georgia’s Environmental Outlook) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. The kick-off meeting on 19 June brought together representatives of the Georgian Government, civil society and international agencies. Solomon Pavliashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Nino Antadze, UNDP Environment & Energy Team Leader in Georgia; and Khatuna Zaldastanishlivi, Program Officer at the Embassy of Sweden, addressed the participants of the meeting with welcome remarks. Khatuna Gogaladze, Head of the GEO, presented the main directions of the planned activities, as well as the prospects and challenges associated with the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) in Georgia. The 16-month initiative aims to support the practical implementation of the EPR principle in e-waste management once it enters into force on 1 December 2019. It will assist Georgia to finalize a by-law on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), conduct an inventory and strengthen capacities of the informal WEEE stakeholders, and establish an E-waste Producer Responsibility

Organization (PRO). The project builds on the achievements on the previous work undertaken by UNDP, the Government of Sweden, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, and GEO in 2017-2018 to promote EPR as part of Georgia’s Waste Management Code. The project activities will be implemented in close partnership with the key national and international stakeholders – governmental institutions, the private sector, civil society and international agencies. Every year, Georgia generates around 900,000 tons of municipal waste. This waste contains up to 1,000 non-hazardous and hazardous substances which pose a threat to human health and the environment. EPR is a policy approach successfully implemented throughout Europe. Under this instrument, producers and importers take responsibility for the collection and treatment of specific waste. In Georgia, the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility is part of the Waste Management Code, adopted in December 2014. EPR enters into force from 1 December 2019 for the following specific waste streams: - packaging waste (plastic, paper/cardboard, wood, metal, glass), - waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), - end-of-the life tires (ELTs), - end-of-the life vehicles (ELVs), - used oils, - used batteries and accumulators. EPR is a new concept for Georgia and

Image source: UNDP Georgia

its introduction requires a relevant legal framework and adequate awareness of the public and private sector. In 2017-2018, by the initiative of the Government of Georgia and with the support of the UNDP and the Government of Sweden, the project on “Supporting the introduction of Extended

Producer Responsibility (EPR) principle as required by the Waste Management Code” was implemented by the Georgian Non-governmental organization ‘Georgia’s Environmental Outlook’ to assist the implementation of legal requirements. A number of studies were conducted, and various documents prepared under

the project, such as the EPR Manual, e-waste volumes: status and future trends, e-waste recycling feasibility study in Georgia, e-waste management concept and draft bylaw. To further support the process a new project “Supporting e-waste management capacity development in Georgia” was launched in June 2019.

The 4th Tourism & Hospitality Conference Held within Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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n June 18, the Radisson Blu Iveria hotel hosted the 4th Tourism and Hospitality Conference, organized within the framework of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards. It brought together nearly 400 representatives of the public and private sectors as participants and attendees. Maryna Chayka, Founder of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards, was the first to open the conference with a speech, followed by Genadi Arveladze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia; Giorgi Danelia, Chief Investment Officer at Partnership Fund; and Anna Kekelia, Head of the Brand Development Department at the Georgian National Tourism Agency. All of the presenters spoke about the current situation in the tourism and hospitality industry in Geor-

gia, outlined the challenges that are set to be overcome in the near future, and noted that holding this type of conference is vital in terms of bringing differ-

ent companies and services together and giving an opportunity to the sector for the further development. “The tourism sector is one of the fast-

est-growing industries in our economy, and contributes much to the country’s economic development,” stated Genadi Arveladze, adding, “This annual conference offers an important platform for discussion on issues related to the industry.” The 4th Conference was divided into four panels: Governmental Presentations on Challenges and Perspectives / Statistics; Old and New rules of Hospitality; Responsible Tourism and Sustainability; Georgia and the World - Raising Awareness, seeing Georgian and foreign experts in the field and top market suppliers take to the stage to speak and participate in panel discussions about the challenges and perspectives of the hospitality industry in Georgia. Themes included safety and crisis management and relevant trainings for members of staff, strategies for sustainable and eco-friendly tourism, as well as problems related to overtourism. Each panel was rounded off with a Q&A session, while the lunch and coffee breaks provided ample chance for guests

to intermingle and acquire new contacts. Along with the vital issues of the tourism and hospitality industry, a detailed presentation about the 5th Anniversary Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards 2019 competition was launched, seeing new nominations added to the list of awards. The panels were followed by B2B meetings, giving all the major and minor companies operating in the industry a wonderful chance to present their businesses and obtain new contacts from among the key players of the field. The 4th Tourism & Hospitality Conference represents a unique platform for information exchange, cooperating with potential partners and clientele and following the latest trends of the field. The project is supported by: the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Tbilisi City Hall and Partnership Fund, Co-organizers: Georgian National Tourism Administration and Bank of Georgia. Project’s Independent Auditor – “BDO in Georgia”, General Sponsor – Alliance Group.

Tbilisi Pride: “I’m Worried People Might Die” Continued from page 1 The threat of violence is very real. “I’m worried people might die,” one member of the LGBTQI community told GEORGIA TODAY. On Wednesday, Tbilisi Pride organizers evacuated their office following death threats received online. Two Pride organizers posted screenshots of messages they received on Facebook. ‘You are still holding pride right? I know where your office is and where your home is. I’ll cut your head off and become a hero!’ posted Giorgi Tabagari, one of

the organizers. Tamaz Sozashvili also received a message saying, ‘Tamaz you will die, they’ll find you dead in the night.’ The threat of violence has become a bargaining tool for far-right groups. Vasadze cancelled the “patrols” in Tbilisi after the Interior Ministry promised to prevent Pride from taking place. Indeed, the Interior Ministry continues to push activists to cancel Pride because they cannot guarantee the safety of its participants. Nonetheless, the Pride team has insisted that the event will be held. In a statement

released on June 18, the team accused the government of being ‘inadequate and ineffective against hate groups’. ‘The government has once against shown that there is no political will and long-term vision that indicates a desire to eradicate hatred and push systematic reforms in the country,’ read the statement. Georgia has a poor track record of protecting the rights of its LGBTQI community. Previous LGBTQI protests have ended violently: in 2013, thousands of counter-demonstrators clashed with a small peaceful LGBTQI demonstration on May 17. The Church has since declared

May 17 a “Family Purity Day.” An influential force in Georgia, the Orthodox Church is playing a large role in attempting to prevent Pride, as in the past. Vasadze’s comments came after the Church released a statement saying that Pride was “unacceptable” in Georgia and calling on the authorities to prevent it from happening. Many priests also attended Vasadze’s gathering, undeterred by his hateful speech and violent threats. Despite these intimidations, activists are determined to go ahead with the planned events and march on Sunday.

The first Pride event, a performance of Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ already took place on Wednesday. Speaking to journalists on 19 June, organizer Nino Bolkvadze said: “We want to warn everybody who is going to participate in the public march, that there are some risks and they have to decide whether they are ready to take part in the events.” In an interview with GEORGIA TODAY in February, organizer Tabagari said, “we’re going to stay strong and united.” In the face of violence, they have done just that.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

A Round-Up of the Week’s Political News BY ZAZA JGARKAVA

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eorgia watches the progress of Tbilisi Pride as the organizers revealed the event will take place regardless of all the opposition. The only thing unknown is where they will cross the Rubicon; where will they be confronted by the “defenders of holiness” and most importantly, how the government will react. While all three parties are working on strengthening their frontlines, the local political life flows onward, offering unexpected twists and news as usual. Karasin and Abashidze held their 21st meeting and agreed on organizing a visit of Russian specialists to the “notorious” Lugar Laboratory this autumn. Unexpected also was the announcement about the construction of a Russian church in occupied Tskhinvali, which is unlikely to happen with the blessing of the Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II. Noteworthy is also the fact that the Shah Deniz 2 has reached the Turkey-Greece border and the South Stream can now reach the EU. Yet, while many important things are going on in the country, the topic of Tbilisi Pride and its main confronter “Knight” Levan Vasadze remains in the headlines.

So, who is Levan Vasadze and his “gang” of supporters? Why does he always appear on the political arena when the situation is reaching the red line? What do we know about him? Almost nothing, other than the fact that he is the childhood friend of ex-president Giorgi Margvelashvili and Bishop Shio, the locum tenant of the Patriarch. What is important and unknown is why the Church of Georgia trusts him, giving him the honor to voice its positions. Vasadze became interested in religion in 2006-07, upon starting his education in the Saint Tikhon's Orthodox University of Humanities. It was not only Vasadze who became fascinated with the secrets of theology, as his father Shio Vasadze joined shortly, which was when the former witch-doctor suddenly appeared in society in clerical clothing. In religious circles, they say that from the Church’s side, it is Shio Vasadze who oversees the production of water Sno, known to be one of the main businesses of the Orthodox Church. A one-year theological course proved absolutely enough for the younger Vasadze to enter the world of the big sharks, and he started distribution of veterinary products in Moscow; he also founded something resembling a Partnership Fund, which currently has $50 million in capital, in Russia. The best-known business that Vasadze owns in Georgia

Image source: Levan Vasadze Facebook

is the sparkling wine production Bagrationi 1892 and the expensive private school in Kiketi. Despite all this, Vasadze believes that his main virtue is the title of “Knight” that he received from Nugzar Bagration-Gruzinsky. After his “inauguration,” Vasadze became the main propagandist of establishing the Constitutional Monarchy and restoration of the royal throne in the country. And when the ideas of the Church of Georgia, the Kremlin and Levan Vasadze coincided, his persona quickly gained another meaning and he became a “public figure,”

which was clearly shown in his so-called educational video speeches addressed to society. This is a short resume of how Vasadze came to be where he is now, and in the recent days of his opposition to the Pride, he fortunately realized that his public support is not that high. At least, not enough for him to enter Georgian politics triumphally. The number of those willing to participate in the public gathering organized in Vera Garden clearly showed the lack of support, but also highlighted that Vasadze’s activeness is

only veiled under the “threat” posed by Tbilisi Pride, but in reality is connected with the Parliamentary Elections of 2020, which appears to be Vasadze’s main goal. The meeting between the special representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia and the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Russia was held against the backdrop of an announcement made by Mike Pompeo. The United States Secretary of State called on the Georgian government to finish the Anaklia Port project and not to fall under the economic influences of Russia or China. Karasin of course condemned the announcement before meeting Abashidze, but the most important result of the meeting in Prague was the decision to organize the visit of Russian specialists to the Lugar Laboratory. It is interesting what the pretentions of the Kremlin will be once the experts examine the laboratory and see that no secret experiments are happening there. But the main event of the passing week was still the opening of Shah Deniz 2 – the pipeline which brings Azerbaijani gas through Georgia to Europe and which is the new layer of bulletproof armor covering Georgia. Hence, it is clear that all the hassle we witnessed in the streets of Tbilisi is in reality connected more with the strengthening of Georgia’s safety than anything else.

Georgia to Accelerate Privatization of State Property BY THEA MORRISON

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fter it was noted that the National Agency of State Property of Georgia has sold twice less state property compared to 2018, Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava said the privatization process must be accelerated in order to use the property owned by the state in economic processes. The LEPL National Agency of State Property was established on September 17, 2012. To date, the Agency falls under the governance of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and exercises rights related to privatization of state property, transfer of the right of use of state property and managing companies established with government shareholdings. Turnava says reorganization of the National Agency of State Property is

Image source: attorneycordero.com

necessary to improve the privatization process and accelerate it. “The Property Agency and the Service Agency of the Ministry of Finance will be united, which will give us the opportunity to get property sold via the open window principle through only one agency,” she explained.

The Minister noted that another step in this direction is the introduction of an electronic system of privatization which is expected to accelerate the privatization process of state property. “This is not a simple process but we have a specific plan. At this stage, specialists have been invited and will start writ-

ing the software, i.e. creating the electronic platform. It will take about six months and in the first half of 2020, we will have the platform up in test mode, after which we will start using it,” she explained. While speaking about the plans for privatization of state property, Turnava noted some complex privatization objects remain in state ownership and require special preparation before sale. “We intend to transfer the property rights of the Gori Wind Power Plant in a month or so. There is a loan agreement with the EBRD and we have to prepare this object [for transfer] following their obligations. Georgian Post is another example. We have other objects too, which require the proper preparation [prior to transfer],” the Minister said. Turnava stressed that, in parallel, an electronic database is being created on which all state property will be listed. “This will help us to offer investors the property they want,” she noted. Turnava set a plan according to which state property worth GEL 70 million will

be sold this year, which can be increased to GEL 100 million where possible. The Minister noted it is hard to say exactly how much money the state budget will get after privatization of some property, adding the cost of the property on the privatization list depends on many factors. The price of state property sold by the National Agency of State Property in five months 2019 is GEL 35,457,138, which is approximately twice less compared to the same period of last year - GEL 60,984,612. Also in 2018, the total amount of state property sold saw GEL 116,892,431 transferred to the state budget. This resulted in 151% fulfillment of the privatization plan by the National Agency of State Property last year. Currently, the LEPL National Agency of State Property manages 97 state-owned enterprises. However, their number was much more in past years. In 2012, when it was established, the agency managed 490 enterprises, in 2013 it had 463 enterprises, 442 in 2014, 282 in 2015, 180 in 2016 and 127 enterprises in 2017.

erate now that the quality of life that we are so hopeful to build depends much on our choice of preferences and their undelayed implementation. Those preferences are often confused, to my great chagrin, but we are learning fast. For instance, the young and powerful journalistic squad of PosTv is a group of strong and stylish specialists who know well and are giving a reasonable chance

to those priorities, one of them being fairness and professionalism in terms of informing and edifying our current and upcoming generations. Speaking about life, the eternal fight between good and evil continues, and the fresh media players like PosTv are fearlessly throwing the gauntlet into the arena where those opposed powers so fiercely confront each other.

New TV Journalism in Georgia OP-ED BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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he United States President recently accused one of the most influential newspapers of the nation of a virtual act of treason, having stated that it is desperate for a story even if the story is bad for the country, describing the paper as the enemy of the people. Frankly, the statement could easily be tailored to some of the Georgian media that, on a regular basis, meanly circulate only the bad news in the country, digging out every gloomy piece of information and disseminating it with vicious vigor, using the frighteningly ominous tones in their journalists’ unnerving voices. In a word, the air is literally thick in Georgia with slanderous reports and hearsay, often exclusively devised with the purpose of warping an average voter’s fragile mind. They do this with sporadic success but mostly aiming for a fiasco, desiring to put the discontented and brainwashed people back onto the streets of the country for recurring riots and revolution. So far, in vain! There must be something wrong

with a mass media which is so frantically concentrated on perpetuating a solely crippled image of the nation, the only reason for this kind of negative informational anxiousness being a political power takeover, ordered by the owners thereof. This kind of journalism doesn’t even smell of democracy, and this is exactly what America’s chief executive wanted to emphasize in his sensational statement. The good news though is that the sophistication of our local media is a nonstop social process which neutralizes the sharply deviated journalistic attitudes and straightens out the one-sided informational approach. As a result of the current worldwide technological progress, which is drastically changing the style of action in media, the fight for fairness and objectivity in the realm of news is becoming fairer and easier to stick to. Georgia is catching up with this kind of media development, one of the best examples of which is the creation of a new powerful internet television two years ago under the name of PosTv which has so far enjoyed millions and millions of hits by its faithful truth-and-knowledgehungry viewers. Up until now, it was based in the Facebook domain, where it

will remain forever, but last Saturday, it also acquired a new individual internet site, www.postv.tv, an address which is soon to be firmly instilled in the nation’s memory. Even a child knows that information is moving from our home television screens straight into our mobile phones, eternally sitting either in our pockets or on our palms. Actually, the greatest prerequisite for further development of PosTv is the worldwide palmtop frenzy, which has overwhelmed billions around the globe. It is nothing but a sharp sense of its creators for future public tastes and demands. It is an easy guess that this little electronic darling is gradually but very confidently taking over the news-oriented hearts and minds in the country and beyond, especially of the young. In addition to its highly urbane technological basis, the genuine potential for development lies in its youthful journalistic team, which is ready to talk to people in a balanced tranquil tone, totally devoid of any panic and hysteria, putting a lot of sense into what they are saying about many different walks of our life. And life is not only about elections and occasional power takeovers. I have said this many times and I am ready to reit-


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

40 Graves to Be Excavated to Identify Victims of Abkhaz War

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he International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is to begin another round of excavations in search of the remains of people who went missing as a consequence of the 1992-93 armed conflict in Abkhazia. ICRC forensic experts plan to concentrate their efforts, from June 19 to September, on more than 40 potential gravesites. The decision to proceed with excavations was taken within the framework of the coordination mechanism established in 2010 under the aegis of the ICRC in its capacity as neutral intermediary. This mechanism is made up of Abkhaz and Georgian participants and works on strictly humanitarian grounds to provide answers for the families of missing people. Its sole purpose is to ascertain the fate and whereabouts of those who remain unaccounted for, years after the end of the conflict. Local specialists, archeologists and anthropologists, will for the 3rd con-

secutive year participate in the process of excavation and exhumation as part of their on-the-job training. Since 2010, some 430 sets of human remains have been recovered. Of these, 163 were identified by drawing on ICRC forensic expertise, and were handed over to the families concerned. The process

of identifying the other recovered mortal remains is ongoing. For additional information, please contact: Maia Kardava, ICRC Tbilisi, + 995 5 99 55 88 18 Boris Kazanba, ICRC Sukhum/i +79409215373

BUSINESS

HUAWEI Keeps Leading Position among World’s Most Important Brands

TRANSLATED BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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nnovative products, a loyal sales strategy and dedication to technological development: this is a small list of the elements representing the key for the success of the HUAWEI company and just what makes its products so appealing. Huawei has strengthened its position in a leading global brand index while also increasing its brand value. BrandZ’s annual Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, published by WPP’s research arm Kantar, ranks Huawei 47th (up one place from last year) with an eight percent increase in brand value. It’s the fourth consecutive year that Huawei has been featured in the top 50. Revolutionary products and innovative offers, including the improved camera

system of the HUAWEI P30 smartphone series, unprecedented 5G technological capabilities and the foldable design of the HUAWEI Mate X, have caught the eye of media and customers in equal measure. This success has naturally positively reflected on sales. Experts state that HUAWEI is exemplary for other Chinese brands, for its achieving success in the world economy. 15 Chinese companies were included in the Top 100 list of BrandZ. According to the expert’s statement, the loyalty of HUAWEI towards technological developments leads to customer trust, which certainly contributes to increasing the company’s reputation on a global scale in the long-term. Looking to the future, Huawei’s commitment to developing technologies that benefit society, as well as consumers, is sure to boost its reputation and standing among global audiences. For example, Huawei’s ‘AI for Good’ ini-

tiative brings to life how Artificial Intelligence can be a transformative technology when applied to helping humanity overcome challenges and improve life chances. Recent projects include translating books into sign language for deaf children, reading facial expressions for the blind and diagnosing visual impairments at a stage early enough for effective treatment. HUAWEI products and services are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world's population. There are 16 research and development centers operating worldwide in the USA, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China. HUAWEI Consumer BG is one of three business units of HUAWEI, mainly focusing on the production of smartphones, personal computers, tablets and cloud services. The HUAWEI Global Network is based on 20 years of experience in the telecommunications business and serves to the production of innovative technologies to customers around the world.

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BUSINESS

GEORGIA TODAY

JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

Tbilisi Mayor Discusses Labor Safety BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

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ast week, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze met with construction companies to discuss the issue of labor safety in Georgia’s capital city. In February of this year, Parliament adopted amendments to the Georgian law on labor safety. The amendments will come into force on September 1, 2019. The original law on labor safety was passed in March 2018, but only applied to 11 categories of jobs – those considered particularly dangerous and potentially harmful. The civil society sector heavily criticized the narrow scope of the law. The new amendments will expand the law to apply to all jobs across the Georgian economy. The amendments define labor safety regulations and general principles of preventive measures in the workplace.

The legislation describes and mandates a system of effective mechanisms of enforcement and inspection. The amendments expand the mandate of the labor inspectorate, and the supervisory body is authorized to check any workplace without prior warning and at any time, to ensure the full implementation and application of labor safety norms. In discussions last week, Kaladze reminded construction companies that Tbilisi city hall will begin sending out inspectors to monitor labor conditions starting July 1. The working meeting was also attended by Deputy Mayors of Tbilisi, representatives of the Parliament of Georgia, namely MP Dimitri Tskitishvili, representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs, Tamuna Barkalaia, and the Business Ombudsman, Irakli Lekvinadze. A conversation emerged between the public sector rep-

Image source: Tbilisi City Hall

resentatives and the construction companies, sharing concerns and problems about the new regulations’ effect on the construction industry. After the working meeting, Kaladze

told reporters, “The safety of people employed at construction sites is very important, which we have discussed multiple times. To this end, we have tightened regulations to ensure that

people employed at construction sites are safe. There have recently been a number of changes in the law. Today, we had a meeting with representatives of the construction sector. Every single one of them should understand how important the safety and security of people are. We have seen cases where helmets are not worn at construction sites or workers do not use appropriate protective harnesses while working on high floors. All this must be done with a supervisor who will control such matters related to safety. Fines alone are not the solution; since we tightened regulations, the number of fatalities has been reduced. This does not mean that we have achieved the desired outcome. During today's meeting, we heard comments and opinions from [the construction sector]. The central government, the Parliament, the business ombudsman is also involved in the process and all of us together, with our united coordination, will solve this problem.”

Presentation of Entrepreneur June Issue & Website www.entrepreneur.ge TRANSLATED BY KETEVAN KVARATSKHELIYA

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n June 14, the Moxy Tbilisi Hotel hosted the launch of the Entrepreneur Georgia Magazine and Entrepreneur website (www. entrepreneur.ge), attended by featured Entrepreneur respondents, contributors, business partners and Entrepreneur Club members. The event was opened by George Sharashidze, Entrepreneur Magazine Editor in Chief, who presented the June issue and the new product, the online version of the magazine – Entrepreneur.ge to the attendees. Nato Chakvetadze, the web editor, spoke about the digitalized version of the magazine, including its aims, thematic directions and content types, where the key role is to be played by the readers. The new formats, vlogs, video-interviews and podcasts, for clientele were highlighted. In addition, it was noted that as there are to be no restrictions on publishing information on the web, all contributors will be able to submit articles to negotiate. The presentation of the first Georgian business podcast was also launched at the event. George Sharashidze is the author of the idea. At the opening ceremony of the event, the sponsor of the magazine addressed the audience. Vazha Menabde, repre-

sentative of Pasha Bank, spoke about the importance of the bilateral cooperation, focusing on the necessity of the development of the magazine, as a significant element of the business sector. In addition, the company Kokhi was presented within the E2E (Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur) format, where the new company presented itself to guests. Within the scope of the Talk format, the Entrepreneur contributors shared their entrepreneurial experience with the attendees. Speeches were delivered by the speakers as follows: • Marita Genebashvili (INEBE.GE) • Khatia Alpaidze (Katiani and Friends) • Nikoloz Gogochuri (VREX) • Leko Shatirishvili (INEBE.GE) • Ana Tikaradze (NAMU) • Tamta Gvelesiani (SPARK) The joint project of the Entrepreneur

Georgia Magazine and Georgian Library Association, called 1 subscription=1 library was announced at the event. Within the framework of the auction, for 1-year subscription, a 2nd subscription will be implemented automatically for a village library, which will receive all new issues of the magazine throughout the year. Villages adjacent to the occupied territories will be chosen at the first stage. The distribution of the magazines to the regions is to be ensured by the National Library of Georgia and the Library Association. Two tickets for The Black Eyed Peas Concert, taking place at the Black Sea Arena on June 16, were played for at the end of the event. Giorgi Sheshaberidze, an 11-year old entrepreneur who had been dreaming of attending the concert, was the lucky winner.

SUBSCRIBE! 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION - 60 GEL (6 ISSUES) Money Back Guarantee!  any@where.ge

 +995 32 229 59 19 10 Galaktion Street

Tel: (995 32) 2 45 08 08 E-mail: info@peoplescafe.ge


SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

7

Sporting Chances: Etseri, Svaneti BLOG BY TONY HANMER

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ejoice, children! You now have a full THREE MONTHS off school, a seemingly endless period of bliss, as Ray Bradbury once put it, more or less! Enjoy! To kick things off on the right note, our village recently celebrated with a day-long multi-village invitational men’s sports competition, briefly interrupted by rain, which actually did nothing to dampen the high spirits. We began with the long jump, onto a newly setup sand pit below the school. This was won by Dato Kvitsiani from Becho: congratulations! Next came arm wrestling, using a specially built standard table just for the sport. This one has put Etseri on the map: one of its citizens has won the event at world level many times, as well as European and Soviet events of the same. His brother was in attendance, though not participating. Some

pairings were over almost before they had begun, others took a few more seconds, but overall it wrapped up quite fast. Overall winner was Levan Charkviani, also from Becho. The Georgian wrestling also began on the sand, but when rain began pelting down, we hurried indoors to the school’s gym, which was already prepared with the proper floor mats. MC Tolik (Anatoli) had already announced that here the winner would receive a ram and 20 liters of wine, a tradition which he hoped would continue in future years. The grunting, red faces, sweat and merely holding on to one another for rest pauses indicated just how much energy the pairs were exerting. There were quite some acrobatics in evidence as well, with the various flips and other moves allowed by the rules, which were taken very seriously by a whistle-toting umpire. Georgia won gold in the Graeco-Roman version of this event at the 2004 Olympics, followed by more victories, so it is one of our strongest sports as a people. This might be one of the places where it has been practiced long-

First Bolnisi Int’l Forum Takes Rural Development Seriously

BY SAMANTHA GUTHRIE

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n Thursday and Friday of last week, June 13-14, the first Bolnisi International Forum took place. The event, co-organized by the municipal government of Bolnisi and the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Secretariat, was designed to support local agribusiness and promote rural development. The forum, which organizers say “aspires to become an annual forum for relevant discussions and partnership building,” was held within the framework of the project Establishing a Platform for Efficient Flow of Business Activities in Bolnisi, funded by the EU – one of the 16 Pioneer Projects within the Mayors for Economic Growth program. It was attended by rural development actors from Georgia and other Eastern Partnership countries. More than 150 representatives from the Georgian government, the EU Delegation to Georgia, local governments, civil society, the private sector, microfinance organizations, and other development actors. International development organizations were also presented: UNDP, EBRD, and USAID. Participants came from across the region, including Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. They shared experiences and good practices on a variety of rural development topics, with particular attention to the role of good local governments and how to support agricultural businesses and small farmers. David Sherazadishvili, Mayor of Bolnisi, opened the event with an address to participants, explaining that his municipality is working to gather, learn, and apply international best practices, particularly

in the area’s major economic sectors – agriculture and tourism. “We hope that with the support of our international partners we will achieve this goal, and we are planning to hold the Bolnisi Forum annually as a platform for growth and exchange,” said Sherazadishvili. Also addressing the gathered crowd was Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Georgia. Gherman emphasized the value and importance of the forum, and its role in engaging a diverse range of actors from the development landscape. “This event shows the awareness of the municipalities of their need to develop local capacity in stimulating economy, and their demand for new solutions and approaches,” he said. “No national policy, however great it is, is enough to produce real change on the ground, without the local authorities taking the lead.” Forum participants engaged in robust discussions, networked within the industry, and were given the opportunity to learn about investment opportunities in the Bolnisi municipality, including information on how the local government can support investors and entrepreneurs. The M4EG Secretariat hosted two thematic, discussion-focused panels, on best practices and surmounting the challenges of agribusiness development from the Eastern Partnership. The panels expressed a culmination of efforts from the M4EG thematic group on Agriculture, which is made up of representatives from municipalities in the Black Sea region, “whose Local Economic Development Plans have agricultural business development as one of the high priorities for the local economy,” explains M4EG. The First Bolnisi International Forum was concluded with a grape vine planting ceremony, wine tasting, and a Georgian folk music and dance performance.

est in the world, being an ancient neighbor of the sport’s homelands. One Dato Girvliani won this, besting our village’s teacher of the sport, who also put up a really good fight, giving us all plenty of suspense until the last few seconds on the mats. Finally, there were volleyball and soccer, which I had to miss due to having guests and guest aftermaths to attend to at home. These were won by Chuberi and Etseri respectively. The horse race, unfortunately, was called off due to not having enough of the animals at hand; in this season they are roaming free on the surrounding hills and mountains, and can be quite hard to bring in. Many of the village boys aged 10 or even younger are adept bareback riders, so when one does get the chance to see a gallop, it is quite thrilling. As for me, galloping is the only gait I enjoy, because it’s nice and smooth, almost like flying; all the other things a horse offers are too bouncy for my inex-

perienced back. I did have to ride a horse back from Mestia to Etseri once in 2007, which took a couple of hours for the 28 km and left my thighs bleeding. More such days, please, to encourage local boys and men in friendly competition against one another and show them that living here has quite a few upsides compared to sweaty, polluted, noisy, overcrowded Tbilisi! (More sport for the ladies, too, would not be amiss, even arm wrestling for those who milk a few cows twice a day, which is quite a workout, take it from me…) 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


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SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

Georgia Is About To Get Tough On Animal Cruelty

BY KYRA DEVDARIANI

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ith Lomisoba this week (June 19), and the Pet Welfare Law under discussion, the issue of animal cruelty is at the epicenter of the Georgian public’s attention, along with the Pride parade and who said what on that. What these two have in common is that ad-hoc sporadic communication from the authorities, as to how they plan to proceed and deal with the respective issues, doesn’t get the message across. The article below aims to provide exhaustive information on the former topic. In fact, the animal cruelty discussion came into the spotlight even before the draft of the Pet Welfare Law, and accompanying changes in the Criminal Code (CCG) and Administrative Code of Georgia (ACG), was up for a committee review. The arrival of a Russian circus with animal “performers” triggered protests both in front of the Tbilisi circus building, and inside it, during the performance. Many of those holding posters against the use of animals in the circus (especially traveling ones) came from a generation that grew up cheering on lions and elephants, monkeys and bears doing neat tricks. I know I belong to that generation, and I see no shame in that. Back then, we didn’t know what kind of cruelty and neglect were hiding behind these dolled-up performances. Personally, I just found out days ago that arthritis in elephants – regardless of age! – occurs only in captivity, that is, in zoo and circus environs (thank you, Wild Earth and your SafariLive streams). Also, at the time of our circus-going years, there was no other way of seeing many

exotic animals up close and personal, if not for those captive settings. By contrast, today, in the age of internet and livestreams, free travel and Cirque du Soleil, going to a place that presents animals that were beaten and tortured into submission is nothing short of barbaric. It may be hard to reconcile our childhood’s happy memories of going to the circus on weekends with the images of whimpering tigers and bloodied elephants, without feeling as if we are betraying our carefree years. Now that we know better, we should take the stand as dictated by our conscience, not distant memories or ignorance! There’s a similar approach to Lomisoba mentioned in the opening sentence. For decades interrupted by the communist rule, people made the pilgrimage to a small but significant Chapel of St George in Lomisa. The chapel, one of many bearing that name and built over a thousand years ago on a site of a pagan place of worship, had a special importance as a religious destination of the mountainous regions of Mtiuleti and Khevi. Having no feudal overlords, the tribesmen pledged allegiance directly to the king in that chapel – before God – especially when called to the battlefield, as was often the case. Others came to bear the heavy metal chain kept in the Chapel as a way of atoning for their sins. No doubt, there was animal sacrifice, too – the ritual harkening back to the pagan roots, a sheep or two when the warriors returned victorious, for the purpose of having a feast. It was nowhere near the mass slaughter of lambs seen in the postcommunist era, ostensibly, for religious purposes, the proper bloodbath that can be seen in many photos making the rounds in social media for several years now. The good news is that eyewitnesses, including guides going to Lomisa Chapel

every June 19, report significantly less bloodshed over the last couple of years. Still, there’s a number of “pilgrims” who cling to the warped idea of lamb slaughter as something pleasing to God - the massacre of Agnus Dei, representing the sacrificial innocence in Christianity, of all things. Against this backdrop, it’s no wonder that some publications had the draft of the “Pet Welfare Law” under the “weird and funny” category – gosh, there will be fines for backyard breeders, how crazy is that! Or, zoophilia is violating the rights of the animals, hilarious! Municipalities establishing the breeding age for animals, bua-ha-ha! And yet, the draft of the Law is a reality, an achievement in a country where pet advocates routinely hear “you’d better take care of humans, not animals” as a rebuttal, and where Gandhi’s quote correlating the greatness of the nation and the way its animals are treated is frowned upon. Activists, animal lovers and professionals in the field deserve a big pat on the back for bringing this item to the legislators and putting it firmly on the agenda. Sure, certain requirements to get the regulations in line with the rest of the progressive world came with the EU Association Agreement, but the origin of this law is unmistakably a grassroots effort. What’s important is that politicians have endorsed the draft, and legislators, regardless of political affiliation, have added the respective measures to the CCG and ACG in order to toughen up the punishment for cruel treatment of animals, from largely decorative fines to serving prison time. Sure, there are some weaknesses that many animal organizations and activists have brought up in discussions; for example, the language of the law almost universally limits “pets” to cats and dogs. The requirement to walk your pet cannot be applied to that goldfish you have in a tank, or the parrot happily squeaking its way on your shoulder as you’re reading this article. Still, there are a lot of positives: registration of pets and their owners, so that the latter take responsibility for the puppies and kittens tossed out once they outgrow their “cuteness” stage. Putting a stop to backyard breeding that is ruining the proper breed selection, especially for the working breeds and those native to Georgia. The much-needed creation of municipal shelters in regions with strict oversight and proper record-keeping is a welcome addition to the current infrastructure. And yet, as I was reading the draft, the wording of Article 4.4(a) made me feel as if I was unable to grasp an important point, and needed to consult a professional. We sat down to discuss the origins

of the law with Mariam Chkhikvishvili, the lead veterinary surgeon of the Agricultural University Veterinary Clinic, the President of the GEOSAVA, the Georgian chapter of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). As I verify that I got her credentials right, Mariam is quick to point out that she’s speaking not just as a veterinarian with a sizable input to the draft’s wording, but also as a founder and Chair of the Homeless Pets Help Organization (HPHO) – the organization that has been working with stray animals since 2008, and has initiated multi-faceted stray population management projects both in Tbilisi and the semi-rural areas.

HOW DID THIS PET WELFARE LAW COME ABOUT? WHO INITIATED IT? For years, there’s been a lot of talk about the dire situation in Georgia with regards to the treatment of animals, especially cats and dogs. Then, about four years ago, Tinatin Chavchanidze, the Chair of the Animal Rights Committee, proposed a draft of the legislation meant to cover these issues. The text was published as a Parliamentary initiative and, as is usually the case, various groups started discussing it, focusing on flaws and shortcomings.

STILL, IT WAS A BIG STEP FORWARD, TO GET THE BALL ROLLING, WOULDN’T YOU AGREE? Absolutely, somebody had to make the first step. She (Mrs. Chavchanidze) did it, taking it from Facebook back-and-forth arguments to the legislative initiative. And despite the initial criticism, all the stakeholders eventually realised that the constructive approach was the only way to get the things right.

THERE ARE LOTS OF ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS AND INDIVIDUAL ACTIVISTS IN GEORGIA, AND THEY OFTEN DISAGREE ON MANY THINGS, FROM PET CARE TO BREEDING TO STRAY POPULATION MANAGEMENT. True, and still, the 13 main stakeholders got together, not just those representing some well-established organizations, but also individuals who have been actively fostering animals, taking care of the animal community for years. So, the current draft is a result of our collective work, with the support of the Parliamentary Committee on Environmental Protection – they will be presenting the Law to the rest of the legislators. (Note: since our discussion, the draft has been approved in the first hearing,

though the proposed effective date has moved from January 1st to May 1st, 2020)

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE DRAFT, IN ITS CURRENT FORMAT? I’VE READ YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS, YOU’VE RAISED SEVERAL POINTS THERE… I’m happy that the draft is moving through the process of becoming a piece of legislature; this is the first time for a law like this, and there will be some adjustments made later, hopefully. Practice always shows what might not work as originally intended: for example, I’ve been vocal about two distinctly different types of shelters being lumped together. These are municipal ones and what is defined family-style, essentially, the home-based temporary shelters. The parts about providing proper veterinary care, observing hygienic norms and record-keeping are fine, but what about the volieres? Outside of the quarantine period, there is no need for keeping cats and dogs caged. Also, the family-style shelters would have to obtain permissions from neighbors and owners of adjacent properties – that might pose quite a problem.

DO YOU THINK NEIGHBORS, EN MASSE, WILL BE AGAINST HOME-BASED SHELTERS? It really depends on the individual relationships the current family-style shelter operators have built within the communities. Most people aren’t thrilled about having a number of cats and dogs staying next door, but I understand the need to respect the neighbors’ opinions, to create a situation that’s comfortable for them, too. It’s a very delicate balance: educating people about animals and raising awareness of the positive aspects is the way to tip the scales of public opinion in that direction. At this point, I felt I could ask about that paragraph in Article 4.4 that puzzled me. The draft reads: “The following is not directed against the welfare and protection of a pet: (a) the program of catching, sterilization, castration, antirabies vaccination and return of the pet.”

WHY DID THE LEGISLATORS FEEL THAT THE LAW SHOULD EVEN EXPLAIN THAT VACCINATION IS NOT HARMFUL TO THE PET? It may be obvious to you, but there is still a large part of the population that doesn’t see the benefits of the TVNR (tag-vaccinate-neuter-release) program that HPHO and other similar organization have been running for years, for stray population management purposes. Many of those who advocate for allowing their own or community cats and dogs to procreate, see no problem in abandoning or killing the litter, which is prohibited under the current law. What we need is an increased focus on educational aspects of the program, raising awareness using different channels to reach various age groups, to convince them that as owners or caregivers, people are responsible for the well-being of the pets and community animals alike. *** As this article goes to print, the draft of the “Pet Welfare Law” is under review, having made its way out of the Committee and will be presented to the Parliament for floor discussion. Please send your thoughts and comments via social media (GEORGIA TODAY has presence on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaToday/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/GeorgiaToday_GT) or email info@georgiatoday.ge. We will be following this topic closely, and keep reporting any new developments.


SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

9

Innova In Vitro Clinic BY KETEVAN KVARSTKHELIYA

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he medical sphere is one of the most rapidly-developing fields in the busy and ever-changing modern world, enabling individuals to fight serious illnesses, live and enjoy a ‘full’ life. Georgia is on the list of those countries making major steps forward in the medical sector, with a number of modern clinics having been launched in the country in recent years, boasting teams of experienced professionals. Innova In Vitro, a multidisciplinary and customer-oriented clinic, is one such medical institution, which with the hard work of the management team, professionalism of its experts, and comfortable and high-quality services offered to clientele, has already strongly established itself on the market. This is a clinic launched in partnership with IVI, the world’s largest network of assisted reproduction clinics, specialized in reproductive health, one of the fields of paramount importance in today’s world. Innova In Vitro is equipped with the latest technologies, in accordance with internationally recognized standards, and offers services in various fields, thus representing a significant platform in terms of development of the medical field countrywide.

WHAT IS IVF? In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. During IVF, mature eggs are collected from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) or eggs are implanted into the woman’s uterus. One cycle of IVF takes about two weeks. IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology and Innova In Vitro is the one providing the best services in this regard.

FERTILITY SUCCESS STARTS WITH THE LAB… There are many factors that must come together to help our patients achieve a successful, healthy pregnancy. The expertise of our world-class doctors and staff

is an essential piece of the equation. But a critical part of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process happens in a place that most patients never see: our laboratory. Innova In Vitro labs are state-of-the-art facilities with every aspect designed to maximize your chances of having a healthy baby. Our research teams have worked tirelessly to determine the best environment, technology and equipment in our labs to achieve successful pregnancies, and they are constantly working to improve these standards. Not all fertility labs are equal in terms of the quality of the environment and measures taken to ensure the maximal chances of creating and growing embryos. It is the quality of our labs and our esteemed research facility that sets us apart from our peers. Our expertise and dedication to lab operations continuously produces high success rates

…AND THE INNOVA TEAM The team at the Innova In Vitro clinic, formed with highly-trained experts in the spheres of Gynecology, Biology, Genetics and Surgery, with 15 years in vitro fertilization experience, led by Ketevan Osidze, and with Spanish embryologist Garcia Jordan as IVF Lab Director, have set the requirements of the patients and achieving the most fruitful outcomes as their main priorities, synthesizing their brilliant theoretical knowledge with innovative treatment methods. At the clinic, patients are offered complete diagnostics and management of all infertility abnormalities, followed by application of the relevant treatments. What is most important, the team spares no effort to ensure the completion of this process in the shortest time possible and also offers a genetic study of the embryo, much facilitating the procedure. Each client of the clinic is treated with special care, accentuating the significance of individual factors. The reproductologist individually evaluates the chances of success in each case. Through the high-quality of services, transparency of procedures and individual approach to the clientele, the Innova In Vitro clinic is now welcoming local, as well as international patients from various countries worldwide. Z. Anjafaridze Str. 1 turn #6 Tel: 2-232-232 / 596-232-232 Mail: osidze_k@yahoo.com FB: Innova Invitro/ინოვა ინვიტრო


10

CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER

TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATER 25 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 04 56 June 22, 23 THE TWO PIGEONS André Messager Ballet in two acts Choreography by Frederick Ashton Conductor- Papuna Gvaberidze Holger Simon Paulli LE CONSERVATOIRE Dancing School August Bournonville’s Choreography Staged by Frank Andersen & Eva Kloborg Conductor- Irakli Cholokashvili Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-70 GEL June 25, 26 K-ARTS DANCE COMPANY Fragments from classical and contemporary ballets: Hallyangmu, Between, La Sylphide, Pearl, The White Road, Bow, Tchaikovsky Pas de deux, Whispering and calling, Sabre Dance, Gak-si, Diana and Actaeon, Sogo Chum, (Hand drum dance) MOB Artistic Director- Misook Jeon Artistic Director of the Tbilisi Ballet Festival: Nina Ananiashvili Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-100 GEL June 27 GISELLE Ballet in two acts Choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa Choreographic version by Alexey Fadeechev Principal dancers of the Joffrey Ballet (Chicago, USA): Giselle– Victoria Jaiani, Prince Albrecht– Temur Suluashvili Conductor: Alevtina Ioffe (Russia) Artistic Director of the Tbilisi Ballet Festival: Nina Ananiashvili Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-100 GEL SILK FACTORY STUDIO 59 Kostava Ave. June 22, 23 Maka Makharadze Ballet Studio“Tanz Class of Vera district” and Silk Factory Studio present: A contemporary ballet in one act“Grans pas from baroque to

electronic music” “Madmoiselle me..!” Based on Johan Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin works. The performance includes the part of the electronic music work “Bismuth” by Tete Noise with original vocal version. Guest Musician: David Aladashvili (Piano) Choreography: Natia Bunturi Start time: 17:00, 20:00 Ticket: 10-15 GEL GABRIADZE THEATER 13 Shavtelis St. TEL (+995 32) 2 98 65 93 June 21 THE AUTUMN OF MY SPRINGTIME Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30, 40 GEL June 22, 23 STALINGRAD Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30, 40 GEL June 25 Animated documentary film REZO Directed by Leo Gabriadze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL June 26, 27 RAMONA Revaz Gabriadze Directed by Revaz Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20, 30, 40 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER 182 Aghmashenebeli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 598 19 29 36 June 21 Silence, Rehearsal! Language: Non verbal Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL

June 21, 22 KRIMANCHULI Comedy based on Georgian national motives. Pantomime novels: Review, Cinema, Sailors, Today is a football, Fire, Chichetura, Vineyard, Krimanchuli, Bath-house attendants, Finale. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 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’.

June 22 Divine Comedy Language: Non-verbal Directed by Ioseb Bakuradze Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15 GEL

MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION 4 Rustaveli Ave. TEL (+995 32) 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge

SHALIKASHVILI THEATER 37 Rustaveli Ave. TEL 595 50 02 03

Exhibition RED TERROR AND GEORGIAN ARTISTS

MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS 10 Betlemi Str.

Night Ticket - 35 GEL Camping Zone - 30 GEL

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.

June 21 Main Stage 19:00- 4 Dimensional Monster Lobsters || 19:40 St. Nudes || 20:30 Loudspeakers || 21:30 Mokumoku || 23:00 Franz Ferdinand Eyestage 00:30- Enforcement || 00:45 Boyd Schidt || 03:30 Tobias. || 05:00 Moritz Von Oswald || 08:00- Edit Select || 11:00 Othr Garden Stage 00:30- G.M.S. || 02:00 Psymmetrix || 03:30 Oogway || 05:30 Aardvarkk || 07:30 1200 Mics By Riktam || 09:00 Acidwave || 12:00 3 Of Life || 13:30 Ancient Om Singer Stage / Day Day - 16:15 Forest Rain || 17:00 Explorer's Vibe || 17:45 Tornike Gagoshvili Singer Stage / Night Night - 00:30 Dini Virsaladze Quintet || 01:45 Auditorium A Feat. Guja Mardini || 03:00 Kemo Sextet

MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS 10 Betlemi Str. 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. GALLERY

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 Until July 4 SOLO EXHIBITION ZERO BY GEORGIAN ARTIST VAKHO BUGADZE MUSIC

GRIBOEDOVI THEATER 2/4 Rustaveli Ave. June 22 SHAVLEGO 100 Georgian dancers present Two-hour solo program "We are Georgians" Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 20-30 GEL

June 22 Main Stage 19:00- Nemra || 19:40 არა || 20:30 Green Room || 21:30 Rhye || 23:00 Unkle Eyestage 00:30- Anushka Chkheidze || 02:00 David August || 03:15 Maayan Nidam || 06:30 Gio Shengelia || 09:30 Tomma B2b Bacho Garden Stage 23:00- Ellarge || 01:00 Dirty Saffi || 03:00 Dj Nuky || 04:30 Katana || 06:30 Alta || 08:00 Pixel || 09:30 Marcuss || 11:30 Dm3 Singer Stage / Day Day- 15:30 Freeride || 16:30 Old Road Band || 17:30 Blues Factor Singer Stage / Night Night - 00:30 Zura Ramishvili Quartet || 01:45 Zuka Simoinsvili Quintet || 03:00 Amaze || 04:00 Natia Dix. & Band

June 21, 22, 26, 27 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: June 2110 Erekle II Sq., Tekla Palace Hotel, June 22New Tiflis, 9 Agmashenebeli Ave., Wine bar ‘Wine Station’, June 26Corner of 2 Turgenev Str., and 37 Javakhishvili Str. June 27Europe Square, 2 D. Megreli Str., Hotel “Nata”

June 23 Main Stage 19:00- Bedford Falls || 19:40 Salio || 20:30 Michelle Gurevich || 21:30 The Subways || 23:00- Mogwai Eyestage 00:00- Beqa || 01:00 Mozzy || 02:45 Cestlek || 04:30 Andrey Pushkarev || 07:30 Matthew Dekay || 10:30 Vako T B2b Lasha Maruashvili Garden Stage 21:30- Obri & Zen || 23:00 Space Teriyaki || 00:00 Additivv || 01:30 Freedom Fighters || 04:30 Nigel || 06:00 Dimitree || 07:30 Kassra || 09:00 Infest Singer Stage / Day Day - 15:30 Lekso Ratiani || 16:30 Bacho Jickidze & Band || 17:30 Windshield (Acoustic) Singer Stage / Night Night - 00:30 Reso Kiknadze Sextet || 01:45 String Quartet Feat. Dani || 03:00 Blue Moor || 04:00 Metastasis

SPACEHALL 1 Tsereteli Ave.

KAKHIDZE MUSIC CENTER 125/127 Agmashenebeli Ave.

June 21 SOLOMUN / COSMIC LOVE ROTATION / TADE Start time: 23:30 Ticket: 60 GEL

June 22 Concert of Choral Music Participants: “Capitol Hill Chorale” from Washington DC, under the baton of Frederick Blinkholder, Georgian State Choir, under the baton of Archil Ushveridze The choir from USA will perform “Georgian Liturgy” by Z.Paliashvili in the Georgian language. Start time: 19:30 Ticket: 10-30 GEL

SOUNDS OF GEORGIA

TBILISI OPEN AIR 2019 Lisi Wonderland, near the New Hippodrome Daily Ticket - 75 GEL (10% discount only for TBC cards) 3-Day Pass - 180 GEL (10% discount only for TBC cards)


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY JUNE 21 - 24, 2019

11

The IMMAGICA Exhibition: a Journey into Forgotten Forms of Beauty It is easily understandable and accessible for everyone for its use of precise language from a scientific point of view. This exhibition is not only a way to re-discover Renaissance subjects such as Venus, Madonna or Greek mythological subjects, but it is also a way to ask ourselves what beauty means and meant at this time. In the Renaissance and Neo-classical periods, the concept of beauty was at the heart of life and art. Especially during the Renaissance, the main focus of the artists was to come back to ancient subjects and especially to the representation of their bodies. The nude was a must for sculptors and the body was at the heart of the concept of beauty. Beauty was all about order, harmony and grace. The artists tried to find the perfect proportions and often painted bodies as if they were statues. The face was one of the most important things to represent: it had to be symmetrical and perfect. Artists followed very specific rules. Women were at the heart of the sculptures and paintings; nothing was more sacred than this beauty. Today, it sometimes seems like the concept of beauty has been impoverished and vulgarized and it is interesting to be in contact with the sublimed concept of beauty of this time.

BY GABRIELLE COLCHEN

T

he Georgian National Museum is currently holding a multimedia technology exhibition "IMMAGICA. A Journey into Beauty" at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia. The exhibition presents Italian paintings and sculptures between 14th-19th centuries, including Giotto’s ‘Ognissanti Madonna’ and the ‘Scrovegni Chapel,’ Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Annunciation,’ Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ and ‘Spring,’ Raffaello’s ‘The Madonna of the Goldfinch,’ Bellotto’s ‘Piazza San Marco’ and ‘Castello Sforzesco,’ Canaletto’s ‘The Chapel of Eton College’ and Canova’s ‘Amor e Psyche’ and ‘The Graces.’ It is a combination of voice, lighting, immersive visual and multimedia. It enables the discovery of art using the most modern technologies; it is a new tool for receiving impressions and broadening knowledge. The images of the artworks are projected on several walls of the exhibition room, each person has headphones with music and a voice that describes the artworks, their meaning and history. It is a great occasion for the public to plunge into some of the most famous and beautiful Renaissance and Neo-classical paintings and sculptures.

The exhibition will last until July 31. More information on museum.ge

Image: The Birth of Venus by Botticelli

Not to Miss Tbilisi Ballet Festival - Famed Troupes, Int’l & Local Stars to Perform BY LIKO CHIGLADZE

T

he 3rd edition of the Tbilisi Ballet Festival officially opens on June 22 and closes with a grandiose gala concert on June 30. The festival will traditionally bring in-demand dancers, ballet companies and stars to the city’s primary Opera Theater to delight the local audience and theater goers alike. The festival was established in 2017 on the initiative of Artistic Director Prima Ballerina Nino Ananiashvili and ultimately has formed as a tradition celebrated annually. Like in previous years, apart from the Georgian State Company, this year the festival will host other international bright stars and worldrenowned troupes as well. The festival also seeks to present productions from annual performance seasons of the State Ballet of Georgia. The main part of the festival will be a guest performance from the K-Arts Dance Company (Korea). The Korean troupe will present both contemporary and classical ballet shows. On June 22-23 the audience will see revived ballets The Two Pigeons by André Messager, and Holger Simon Paulli’s Le Conservatoire with August Bournonville’s choreography. The latter

is staged by Frank Andersen and Eva Kloborg, who earlier came at the invitation of Nino Ananiashvili to train the Georgian dancers in the Bournonville dance style. “Christopher Carr, a choreographer from the British Royal Theater, came on a special visit to Tbilisi to work on staging The Two Pigeons. It was very interesting to collaborate with him,” Georgian lead soloist Nutsa Chekurashvili told GEORGIA TODAY. The K-Arts Dance Company from Korea will perform on June 25-26. This will be the troupe’s first visit to Georgia, bringing both contemporary and classical shows to the stage of the Tbilisi Opera. Their program is to feature: ‘What about Classical Movements?’ ‘Hallyangmu,’ ‘Between,’ ‘La Sylphide,’ ‘Pearl,’ ‘The White Road,’ ‘Bow,’ ‘Tchaikovsky Pas de deux,’ ‘Whispering and Calling,’ ‘Sabre Dance,’ ‘Gak-si,’ ‘Diana and Actaeon,’ ‘Sogo Chum,’ and ‘MOB.’ “The festival week encompasses performances of different epochs and masterpieces by great choreographers, such as Frederick Ashton, Bournonville, Marius Petipa,” Georgian soloist Nino Samadashvili told us. “The festival will be closed with a Gala Concert where we will perform Sagalobeli (chant) by Possokhov; this is our trademark dance, since it is staged to Georgian National music and we traditionally perform it

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every year.” On June 27, the audience will see Adolphe Adam’s two-act Giselle with the participation of guest ballet stars. The title roles will be performed by soloists of Taras Shevchenko National Opera and the Ballet Theater of Ukraine, with choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. “The concept of this festival is to present contemporary ballet along with traditional,” Ekaterine Surmava, young Georgian dancer and soloist of the State Ballet told GEORGIA TODAY. “It is a well-known fact that the Georgian audience is more attracted by classical ballet than modern, so one of the missions of

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

the festival is to introduce a new product to the larger audience, not only through our performance but also through that of international troupes. The Korean company is one of the best-recognized ballet troupe in the world. The festival is important in many ways, as it gives the Georgian audience an opportunity to see extraordinary performances by international stars as well as helps to position Georgia on the world map,” the dancer added. On June 28, the beloved two-act Swan Lake by Pyotr Tchaikovsky will be presented, showcasing Nino Samadashvili (Odette/Odile) and Ruslan Skvortsov (Prince Siegfried), principal dancer of

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the Bolshoi Ballet in the title roles. On June 30, the festival will close with an impressive concert involving the State Ballet Company and invited stars: Victoria Jaiani, Temur Suluashvili (Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, USA), Francesco Piccinin (Estonian National Ballet), Martina Arduino, Marco Agostino (La Scala Theatre, Milan, Italy), Ruslan Skvortsov, Anastasiia Goriacheva, Ana Turazashvili (The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia). All the performances will be accompanied by the Orchestra of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater. Tickets are available online https://tkt.ge/ Show/6883/tbilisis-baletis-festivali

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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #1161  

June 21 - 24, 2019

Issue #1161  

June 21 - 24, 2019

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