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Issue no: 889

• OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

• PUBLISHED TWICE WEEKLY

PRICE: GEL 2.50

In this week’s issue... Tbilisi Marathon to Take Place in City Center NEWS PAGE 2

Obama Calls Donald Trump’s Admiration of Putin ‘Unprecedented’ POLITICS PAGE 6

FOCUS ON EU RELATIONS & GEORGIAN VALUES

Ambassador Janos Herman discusses EU-Georgia relations, values and PAGE 8 bilateral cooperation

The Telegraph Names Georgia Top Travel Destination for UK Airlines

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he UK daily newspaper The Telegraph has named Georgia a top travel destination in an article titled: ‘17 amazing places UK airlines should wake up and launch

flights to.’ The article names 17 top destinations within 9,000 miles of London that need to be connected to Britain and can be reached from Britain with just a single flight, and recommends British airline companies to launch direct flights there. The article recommends readers visit Georgia “one of the oldest countries in the world,” and cites one of the tourists: "These days, its fine Art Nouveau buildings and pretty, traditional balconied houses are what some would call shabby chic. Yet new hotels and shopping malls are springing up and gentrification is under way in its more historic districts. Tbilisi feels like a city finally coming into itself. In other words, get here fast before everyone else does!" Georgian-born British singer Katie Melua is also quoted in the article. "It's steeped in history – the Old Town, with its twisting alleys, is particularly fascinating," she says. "It's a city that's very much off the beaten track. Not many tourists have been there, which makes it all the more worth visiting."

Separatist Commander, Alleged War Criminal Killed in Ukraine’s Donbass POLITICS PAGE 7

Neuter and Spay Day with Mayhew International in Tbilisi SOCIETY PAGE 10

Boris Akunin Meets Georgian Readers SOCIETY PAGE 10

Tabliashvili’s Fairytale beyond Illusions CULTURE PAGE 13

Product Management Workshop for Performing Arts Professionals in Adjara CULTURE PAGE 15


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NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Georgia’s PM Initiates Changes to Constitution by Creating Special Working Group BY THEA MORRISON

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eorgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili initiated the creation of a special working group that will be engaged in the process of making amendments to the Constitution following the elections. The initiative was announced by the PM at today’s cabinet sitting, whereby he stated that the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) wants a constitutional majority in order to fulfill its promises given to the population. “GD is winning with an absolute majority, which first of all is a huge responsibility for us before the country and before voters,” he said, going on to underline that the constitution needs amendments, but that the process should be carried out through broad public involvement and without any haste. Kvirikashvili also commented on the statements of the opposition, which said that if the GD gets a constitutional majority, there is a danger that the country may turn away from democratic principles. According to the PM, such statements are speculations ahead of the second round of elections. “These are totally unhealthy and artificial speculations. A constitutional majority is a big responsibility for the government, which aims at implementing ambitious plans for the country’s development,” he stated. According to Kvirikashvili, civil society will be actively involved in the process of carrying out changes to the Constitution, in order to transform it into a democratic and European one. Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, sup-

ports the initiative of the PM, saying he is ready to participate in the creation of a working group. According to the Head of the President’s Administration, Giorgi Abashishvili, the President welcomes the initiative and is ready to establish a special working group which will involve the participation of the President, PM and the Parliament Speaker. “The PM’s initiative will end speculations about the constitutional majority and will be of high legitimacy,” said Abashishvili. The opposition party United National Movement (UNM) stated the constitutional majority represents a threat for Georgia and urged voters not to support the ruling team. “I call on everyone who does not want the establishment of a one-party regime in this country to go out to the polling stations in the second round and vote for the UNM candidates and, by doing so, defend Georgian democracy,” the leader of the UNM, Davit Bakradze, said. Moreover, a group of civil society members released a statement yesterday calling on proWestern political parties which were unable to pass the 5 percent threshold in the first round, to support opposition candidates in the second run-offs. “A constitutional majority could damage the democratic process. It allows the ruling party to change the Constitution and violate the balance of powers between the branches of government,” the statement reads. As a result of Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary elections, the ruling team already has 67 guaranteed seats in Georgia’s 150-seat parliament. If the GD manages to win in at least 46 out of 50 majoritarian districts during the October 30 second round elections, it will gain a constitutional majority in the new parliament.

Tbilisi Marathon to Take Place in City Center BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI

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he Georgian capital Tbilisi will host its fifth annual marathon on October 23 as hundreds of runners gather on the city’s main thoroughfare Rustaveli Avenue to take part in the event. Organized by German building company Heidelbergcement, the race will include a 21-kilometer half marathon, a 500-meter Kids’ Run for children ages 6-11 and a 100meter sprint for 12-15-year-olds. Held under the aegis of the Tbilisi Municipality, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and the German Embassy in Georgia, the event hopes to promote a healthy lifestyle and raise funds for at-risk children, said Michael Hampel, the General Director of Heidelbergcement in the Caucasus. All proceeds for the event will be donated the Children’s Hospice in Georgia. The Tbilisi Marathon managed to raise

24,000 GEL (USD 10,200) last year, which was matched and doubled to 48,000 GEL (USD 20,400) by Heidelbergcement. The funds were spent on the rehabilitation of a special care center for people with disabilities in Rustavi, an industrial city south of Tbilisi. Registration for the Tbilisi Marathon will remain open until October 22.


NEWS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

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EU Is Ready to Work with Tourism Administration New parliament of Georgia Presents Bureau for Conventions and Exhibitions

BY THEA MORRISON

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n the recent Foreign and Security Policy 2016 report of the European Council, the European Union (EU) expressed readiness to work with the new, democratically elected parliament of Georgia and called on all MPs of the new parliament to work together for Georgia’s interests. The document was published on October 17 and focuses on continuing the quest for solutions to the acute crises in the EU's neighborhood, whilst protecting and defending human rights, and on building and strengthening peace and stability globally. The EU welcomed the October 8 parliamentary elections in Georgia, which, according to the report, were held in a generally peaceful and orderly way. “Besides some incidents of violence near and in polling stations, the preliminary assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission found the elections to be competitive, well-administered and respectful of fundamental freedoms,” the document reads. Also, the EU looks forward to working with the democratically elected new parliament and government once the electoral process is completed, as the second round of elections is to be held in 50 single-mandate constituencies on October 30. “We call for all representatives elected to the new parliament to work together in the interests of Georgia,” the report says.

BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI

T Foreign and Security Policy 2016 of the European Council reads that the EU is ready to cooperate with Georgia’s new parliament. Source: CNN

Moreover, the EU expressed its readiness to support Georgia's efforts to overcome the consequences of conflict in Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including through the activities of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and the EU Special Representative (EUSR) for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia. “The EU will remain firmly committed to its policy of supporting Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders,” the report reads. According to the document, a democratic, stable and prosperous Eastern Neighborhood (EaP) will remain a priority for the EU. EaP is an initiative of the European

Union governing its relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, intended to provide an avenue for discussions of trade, economic strategy, travel agreements, and other issues between the EU and member states. The document reads that in its relations with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, the EU will continue to focus on the implementation of the respective Association Agreements (AAs), which will help to steer reform processes in these countries. The AA entered into force on July 1, 2016 for Georgia. Photo: Foreign and Security Policy 2016 of the European Council reads that the EU is ready to cooperate with Georgia’s new parliament.

he New Conventions and Exhibition Bureau ‘Meetgeorgia.ge’, introduced by the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) at Courtyard Mariott Hotel Tbilisi this week, aims at fostering the devlopment of business tourism in Georgia, seeking to become a hub for international meetings, exhibitions, conferences, tours and various other events. It

will also focus on promoting the business tourism potential of the country abroad. Ketevan Bochorishvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development noted that diversification of the markets is needed in order to transform Georgia into a four-season touristic destination country. ‘Meetgeorgia.ge’ is said to have been created following world best practise in the tourism sphere and according to reports and studies undertaken by USAID in the years of 2012-2014 about business tourism development opportunities in Georgia.

Presentation at Marriott, Giorgi Chogovadze, Head of Tourism Administration


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

Socrates & Volski “RECORDED” BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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hey met the other day on Rustaveli Avenue in Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi by chance, right after the parliamentary election bells tolled in a new era in the land of Colchis and Iberians. But the country had not yet had a chance to fully contemplate the developments in the nation’s political future. As such, the accidental encounter between the philosopher and the politician was rather opportune, and carried a clairvoyant charge – descriptive enough to let the temporarily on-hold nation go into pertinent deliberations. Socrates: Goodness gracious, what a propitious crossing of roads! Would my friend be willing to enter into a brief dialogue with me, making the incipient denotative alteration of Georgian politique a dominant theme? Volski: The meditations of geniuses on my favorite subjects, especially that you have just mentioned, have always been my greatest of infatuations. Socrates: Because my focus on subject matter is always specific, let me pose the

first question: Have you finally found the way into the realm of justice that must be done? Volski: It is my advantage to be just and disadvantage to be unjust – this is what I have learnt from the great Socrates, having turned the thought into my reigning political credo because I have always had it in my bones that the most blessed life is that of the just man and the most miserable life is that of the unjust man. Socrates: You have well dealt with my intention to probe into your intelligence. Allow me graciously to emerge with another question of consequence without procrastination: you claim and intend to mould yourself into one of the nation’s guardians, do you not? Then, do you remember that guardians should be educated in the following four virtues – wisdom, courage, justice and temperance? Volski: We are not young as a nation but we are still budding in politics, this being the reason for the want of extra wisdom- but we have enough courage to do justice with temperance. Socrates: Then, why do you not engage each person in the occupation that suits him best, thus making him and others happy? Volski: Again, I am resorting to your wisdom when saying that the power of the state that still persists should not be too much to let the people be engaged rationally, which I think will be well remembered should I find myself at the helm someday. Socrates: Your balanced reasoning leads me to recall the judgment of a philosopher-king who must as a rule be intelligent, reliable and willing to lead a simple life. Volski: Do I lack simplicity of life as a good family man? Or should I be borrowing intelligence from a learned scholar? You mentioned reliability? That’s my recognized forte! Socrates: It has always been my conviction that a certain amount of unfeigned modesty would never hurt a politician in use. From what do you think tyranny is generated? Volski: I know the pernicious sequence quite well. It starts with timocracy which

grows into oligarchy that wants to have the face of democracy but the whole tandem ends up as regular tyranny. Our annals are full of evident paradigms of the sort, but I am a good learner from the mistakes of others- therefore you need not be concerned about me in this regard. Socrates: Good enough! And fair enough, too, but I wonder if you have ever pondered the subject of a society which decays and passes through each government in succession, eventually resulting in a bunch of rotten and corrupt individuals with a voracious appetite for power and wealth. Volski: How many times should I emphasize that I am your adherent? And a very talented and diligent student too, for that matter! Isn’t it Socrates the Great who loudly stated that we the politicians at times let our passions rule our actions or way of thinking, although they should be controlled? Incidentally, we cannot control all, and we are not even willing to control everything, hence some corrupt animals have their way every now and then. Socrates: But you must fight the evil as fiercely as you can. Volski: Not I, but the state! And you forget that this should be done on just grounds. Socrates: Perhaps! On the other hand, at times power is concentrated in the hands of a strong leader and the people allow themselves to be commanded by such a superior as hates to be subject of criticism. Volski: As my friend Socrates would put it, we all need to learn how to better our image and behavior by allowing ourselves to be subject to criticism without being hurt and by subduing our pride and ignorance. Socrates: Attaboy! Who taught you this much in my absence? Volski: You are never absent, my lord. You are conspicuously seated on my bookshelf. Perennially!  Socrates – Famous Greek Philosopher, Volski – Well-known Georgian Politician

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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

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Politically Active? The Ambitions of the Georgian President OP-ED BY ZAZA JGARKAVA

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he second round of Georgia’s 2016 parliamentary elections has yet to be held, but the media is already talking about the next elections- the presidential ones. The main focus right now of the fourth government of Georgia is the President and the events taking place in his Administration. The press has been openly discussing the fact that President Margvelashvili is inviting the leader of the defeated Free Democrats party, Irakli Alasania, to the Security Council to occupy a post which has been vacant for quite some time. They also report on the cooperation between the President and other “faces” of the oppositional wing. Political analysts believe that the President has become more active because of the upcoming presidential elections. Rumors about the formation of a new political center around the President are nothing new. The local media was spreading information about secret negotiations, allegedly about the formation of a new political alliance, held between President Margvelashvili, one of the leaders of the United National Movement (UNM), Giga Bokeria, and Irakli Alasania, even as far back as during Garibashvili’s premiership. A TV announcement made by the leader of the Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili, added to the newspaper articles, in which he revealed the details of the

“Last Supper” held in the borough of Dusheti saying that, “A great deal and great conspiracy is being worked on. Every weekend the leaders of the UNM, Bokeria and Machavariani, meet in Dusheti at Margvelashvili’s house and negotiate the creation of a new political center.” Both media and the leader of the Labor Party were deceived then, since the confrontation between the Prime Minister and the President continued in such direction that President Margvelashvili did not deviate towards any political power. Naturally, the “new political center” went unformed. Although today the relationship between the President and the new premier is significantly better- President Margvelashvili feels no threat of being kicked out of the Presidential Palace nor is he banned from taking part in any international official meetings, this does not mean that the “Margvelashvili problem” has been solved for Georgian Dream. The announcement about future constitutional changes has once again proved the confrontation between him and the ruling party is ongoing. The GD plans its revenge by making changes in the Constitution, seeking to deprive people of their right to elect a president and to grant that to Parliament, where it itself holds the majority. It is easy to foresee the political future of President Margvelashvili if these changes are really made. According to the new legislation he will not be able to raise his candidacy for a second term and he will not be elected by the parliamentary majority – this will mean a political knockout.

Does the President have any political resources to repel this attack? As Archil Gamzardia, an analyst close to Georgian Dream, says – he does: “The attempt to form a new political power around President Margvelashvili has been voiced a

number of times. He has driven the political process before the elections quite well and he does have certain resources he could use to form a new political center. Why didn’t he take this step before the parliamentary elections?

Probably because he was unable to summon the support of society on time, but now, after the elections, all the conditions are ripe and he can make his political move,” Gamzardia said. Political analyst Vakhtang Dzabiradze also holds no doubts about the political potential of President Margvelashvili. He believes that it would be right for the pro-Western powers to consolidate around him. “When the President took a number of decisions opposing Georgian Dream, and here I do not mean entering the Presidential Palace, I asked a question– does the President have the ambition to get involved in politics more actively? And to be honest, he is a young man, why shouldn’t he want to take part more dynamically in the management of the State and to unite politicians around him for this purpose? However, the main issue here is whether he will take the steps in this direction or not... If Margvelashvili intends to enter politics more actively, he needs a political organization and not just a few leaders around him, therefore, by inviting only Alasania, he is making a mistake,” Dzabiradze said. The President prefers to keep silent about the alleged formation of a new political center at this stage. Alasania himself has denied receiving an offer from Margvelashvili. However, this does not mean that Margvelashvili has given up on a political future. As such, we should not strike off the possibility that one day soon, the President may unexpectedly call a briefing in which he will publicly announce: “I am forming a new political party.”


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

Georgia’s FM Participates in European Conservatives and Reformists Group Conference BY THEA MORRISON

Obama Calls Donald Trump’s Admiration of Putin ‘Unprecedented’ BY NATIA LIPERTELIANI

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n Tuesday, in a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, President of the USA, Barack Obama, called Donald Trump’s profound admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘unprecedented.’ "Mr. Trump's continued flattery of Mr. Putin and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr. Putin is unprecedented in American politics," Obama said. Obama went on to express his concerns over the Republican Party’s changed policy towards Russia. "Mr. Trump rarely surprises me these days," Obama stated. "I am much more surprised and troubled by the fact that you have Republican officials — who historically have been adamantly antiRussian and in fact have attacked me for even engaging them diplomatically — now supporting, and in some cases echoing, his positions. It's quite a reversal." Obama also stressed Russia’s undemocratic and aggressive acts in Ukraine and

Georgia. He said that when he became president, Russia had already invaded the territory of Georgia and created frozen conflicts there. Russia’s new President had taken a more constructive track and showed more respect, despite having different values, and tried to find ways for mutual cooperation. “We initiated a new START treaty; we assisted Russia with respect to its ascension to the WTO. We worked on some common international challenges together, and when the previous president was replaced with Mr. Putin, I met with him and we discussed, again, ways in which we could constructively work together,” Obama said. During the press-conference Obama outlined the political importance of Russia, but also stressed the importance of maintaining international rules and democratic values. “Russia is a large, important country with a military that is second only to ours and has to be a part of the solution on the world stage rather than part of the problem," Obama said. “But their behavior has undermined international norms and international rules in ways that we have to call them out on. And anybody who occupies this office should feel the same way because these are values that we fought for and we protected.”

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eorgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikheil Janelidze took part in the European Conservatives and Reformists Group Conference on October 19 in Krakow, Poland. Janelidze was invited as a special guest to the conference dedicated to the development of security in Poland and European Union (EU) new member states. While delivering his speech, Janelidze underlined the importance of security issues in the Euro-Atlantic area and the decision of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to strengthen the self-defense capabilities of the Alliance partner states. “It is clear from the existing challenges that we need a common strategy and joint efforts to ensure peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area," Georgia’s FM stated. Janelidze also mentioned the decision of NATO, made at the Warsaw Summit this summer, to increase practical cooperation with Georgia and to help it increase its self-defense capabilities. “I am sure that the most effective way to strengthen security in Europe is to extend the security umbrella in the Black Sea region,” Janelidze stated. Moreover, the Minister underlined Georgia’s important role in the region in the promotion of safety, as well as in the direction of democratic and economic development. “Implemented reforms, liberal eco-

Janelidze met with the Polish Delegation in Krakow

nomic policies and democratic parliamentary elections have proved that Georgia is an important and reliable partner for the West in the region,” he said. The participants of the conference noted that Russia is carrying out “aggressive policies” in the region, which was expressed in its military invasion and annexation of Georgian territories during the 2008 August War, and the annexation of Crimea. The conference was also attended by the Minister of Defense of Poland, Antoni Macierewicz, members of the European Parliament and local experts. Janelidze was invited to the conference by the Vice-President of the European Parliament and the leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Ryszard Czarnecki. After the conference the Georgian FM

held a meeting with Minister Macierewicz during which the sides discussed bilateral defense cooperation between Poland and Georgia. Macierewicz reiterated his support towards Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Janelidze also met with the Head of the Polish delegation, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, who positively assessed Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary elections and noted that Georgia has an important place in the top five of economically free countries. The President of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Syed Kamall, also expressed his firm support to Georgia. The sides discussed Georgia’s cooperation with Great Britain, with Kamall noting that Great Britain is an important strategic partner and ally of Georgia in many directions.


POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

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Separatist Commander, Alleged War Criminal Killed in Ukraine’s Donbass BY NICHOLAS WALLER

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ore than two years after the war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region began, one the conflict’s most notorious pro-Russian commanders was killed in a bomb blast earlier this week while returning home with a bodyguard. Arseny Pavlov, a Russian citizen who gained fame under the anomalous nom de guerre “Motorola”, was killed with one of his bodyguards by an improvised explosive device (IED) while in the lift of his apartment block in the Russian-controlled separatist city Donetsk last Sunday. Born in Russia’s subarctic Komi Republic, the ginger-bearded and gap-toothed Pavlov joined the Moscow-backed rebels in the Donbass in March 2014 shortly after being convicted of car theft in the southern Russian city Rostov-na-Donu. He later went on to lead the separatist Sparta Battalion, made up mostly of Russian citizens with criminal backgrounds and ties to ultranationalist organizations in the Russian Federation. Ukrainian-based human rights groups and the OSCE accused Pavlov and his Sparta Battalion of war crimes – including the summary execution and torture of Ukrainian soldiers – committed during and after the battles of Ilovaysk, the Donetsk Airport and Debaltseve in late 2014 and early 2015. In an April 2015 taped interview with the Kyiv Post’s senior reporter Oleg Sukhov, Pavlov admitted to personally executing 15 Ukrainian prisoners of war. His admission prompted London-based NGO Amnesty International to call for an “independent investigation into the actions of other pro-Russian units operating in the Donbass”. Details of the 33-year-old Pavlov’s biography remain sketchy, though it is known that he served as a teenage conscript in the Russian Armed Forces in the 1999-2001 Second Chechen War. According to Pavlov, he got his nickname "Motorola" after working with equipment manufactured by the US-based telecom company while serving as a wireman in the Russian army in the North Caucasus. Pavlov was known to enjoy the personal backing and close friendship of two of Russia’s most notorious ultranationalists, politician and Russian MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky and former FSB Colonel Igor Girkin – the latter of which Pavlov served under in the early stages of the Donbass War. Zhirinovsky allegedly bought Pavlov’s apartment and a car in Donetsk. Girkin, who is believed to have ordered the shoot down of Malaysian Flight 17 and the execution of pro-Ukrainian civilians in the Donbass, attended Pavlov’s wedding to a local Donetsk-born girl in the summer of 2014. Donetsk rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko condemned the attack on Pavlov and vowed revenge against the Ukrainian government. "As I understand it, (Ukrainian President) Petro Poroshenko has violated the Minsk ceasefire and declared war on us…I want to be clear about this. We will avenge this act of terrorism," Zakharchenko was quoted as saying in a television broadcast. Fellow pro-Russian separatist commander and a

Arseny Pavlov was killed in a bomb blast earlier this week while returning home with a bodyguard. Source: Sergey Loiko

close friend of Pavlov, the half-Georgian Mikhail Tolstykh, who goes by the Georgian nickname “Givi,” has vowed to “kill a million civilians and destroy every Ukrainian city” to avenge Pavlov’s death. Tolstykh is listed on the EU and US sanctions list after being caught on tape torturing Ukrainian soldiers captured at the Battle of the Donetsk Airport in February 2015. It remains unclear who is responsible for Pavlov’s death. A video appeared online, purportedly from a Ukrainian nationalist group calling itself the “Misanthropic Brigade”. The group claimed it had killed Pavlov and its members say they have infiltrated the highest echelons of the Russian separatist command structure and threaten to target both Zakharchenko and Tolstykh, as well as rebel political leader Igor Plotnitsky. Ukraine’s SBU intelligence services, however, believes Pavlov may have been eliminated by the separatist commander of an Abkhaz Battalion. The SBU claims Akhra Avidzba, the commander of the pro-Russian 15th Abkhaz Volunteer Brigade, ordered Pavlov’s death after the latter attempted to arrest several individuals under Avidzba’s command. Pavlov’s death is the latest in a series of unexplained killings involving key commanders in the pro-Russian separatist forces. More than half a dozen principal separatist commanders have been assassinated by unknown assailants since September 2015.

The war in the Donbass region has claimed more than 10,000 lives and left nearly one million people as refugees since hostilities began in April 2014. Despite having won key battlefield victories, Russia and its separatist allies in the region have been unable to score a decisive tactical victory against Ukraine’s military and have lost 80 percent of the

territory it originally controlled at the onset of the war. Supporting Ukraine’s once beleaguered military are scores of volunteers from around the former Soviet Union, including dozens of Georgians, Chechens, Moldovans and Azeris – all of whom fought against Russia and its allies in the 1990s.


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POLITICS

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

A Transformation in Georgia, Led by the Georgians BY RENE SCHULTHOFF

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he Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia, Ambassador Janos Herman, explains in an interview how common values and shared interests are driving forward the partnership between Georgia and the EU.

WHAT ARE THE SHARED VALUES THAT UNDERPIN THE EU’S RELATIONS WITH GEORGIA? The values that we promote in Georgia are the same values that we promote in the European Union. There is no difference between the two. They are democracy, the rule of law, human rights, a market economy. In fact one can say that these are the values on which the European Union itself is built. Actually, I wouldn’t say we are promoting these values in Georgia: it is more precise to say that Georgia wants to come closer to the European Union and it is the conviction of the Georgian people that this should be done based on common values. Common values are very important from a political point of view, but also from a practical perspective, because when we build up our cooperation, the association with Georgia, the integration into the internal market, this is a process that is much more solid if it is underpinned by a clear understanding of the two sides, Georgia and the European Union, sharing fundamental values.

DO YOU SEE ANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE VALUES IN EUROPE AND GEORGIA? No, I don’t think so. I think there is a very clear determination in Georgia to put these values at the heart of our cooperation. Even within the European Union, there are differences among member states concerning different approaches to some values, which are shared by all of us. What is particular in Georgia is that they strengthen the presence of these values inside Georgia as part of a general approximation between us, and yes, if they are facing obstacles or difficulties in some areas, they are not so different from the obstacles and difficulties we might also have here and there inside the European Union. But of course Georgia has started later, so in that sense they are coming from further away, and are facing some problems, which in our own processes inside the EU have already been solved. So the difference is not so much about the substance of the values, but about the content of a value-based cooperation. It is more linked to the fact that Georgia is introducing the institutional framework and the legal basis for a consequent implementation of these values somewhat later than our member states.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THIS PARTNERSHIP WITH GEORGIA IS IMPORTANT FOR EUROPE? It’s important to both sides. All good cooperation should be based on a clear understanding of the interests of both sides, so I don’t think it would be right for us to build up cooperation with partner countries which cannot be linked to clear European Union interests. The main interests of the European Union are very clearly expressed in our basic documents, the European Neighborhood Policy, the Eastern Partnership: we are interested in democracy, prosperity, rule of law, and security in the countries which are our neighbours, whether to the east or to the south. Is Georgia interested in this? Yes, of course, and I think that this is

Janos Herman, Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia

the basis of our cooperation. Essentially what happens is that Georgia tells us, ‘I would like to come closer to you’, and we say, ‘yes, you can do it, and we will help you’, and this is based both on our values and our interests. Is the European Union interested in a prosperous and democratic Georgia that is stable and which can be a partner of increasing importance in many aspects, not only in our bilateral cooperation but also having an impact in the region, radiating progress and stability in the region, with Georgia functioning as an important link between Asia and Europe, where

there are energy connections, pipelines, transport, roads, new ports, and other economic opportunities also for our companies? Yes, we are interested in that, so we are working together on that. This is a cooperation that is based on common, shared interests, on shared values, but also on a clear understanding that there are important interests on both sides.

WHAT IS THE REAL IMPACT OF EU SUPPORT TO GEORGIA? The impact is visible. But if you look at the transformation of the country, it is not the impact of the European Union, it is

the impact of the Georgians, and the decision of the Georgians to move closer to the European Union. Under this sign, there is a very ambitious transformation in Georgia – the legal system, the governance system, the judiciary, the public administration have already gone through a very important transformation, this is visible. I hope we are now entering into the second phase of our association. As we now implement the agreement in all its components, we feel the time has come to make the Georgians themselves, the wider population feel the impact, and the first signs are there, we have increasing

trade between us, there are new Georgian exports coming to the European Union market. There has already been a significant impact in the area of agriculture and rural development, there are hundreds and even thousands of cooperatives formed with European Union support, there are new Georgian products emerging in agriculture. We hope very much that we can contribute also with direct support to the private sector, promoting small and medium-sized enterprises, providing good condition loans to them. And there is also the visa liberalisation that will deliver a significant impact for the Georgian population. By promoting better conditions, jobs, trade, economic development, small and medium-sized enterprises, more mobility between us, people-to-people contacts, study opportunities for young people in the EU, and easier conditions for travel, like the visa liberalization, we are gradually moving into the second phase of our cooperation, where it is not just a transformation, it is also already the first benefits of creating a new Georgia that will better serve its citizens. This interview was produced by the EU Neighbors East project Rene Schulthoff, is a German journalist, Public Information Expert, Humanitarian Affairs Officer and Strategic Communications Manager


10

SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

Neuter and Spay Day with Mayhew International in Tbilisi BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI

F

ollowing The Mayhew International’s visit to Tbilisi and a Neuter and Spay Day held last Sunday at the Tbilisi Agrarian University Veterinarian Clinic, offering free neutering for street and shelter dogs, GEORGIA TODAY spoke with Caroline Yates, CEO of Mayhew Animal Home about The Mayhew International activities in Georgia. We discussed the possibilities of solving the issue of street dogs that to a large extent remains unsolved not only in Tbilisi, the capital, but throughout the country. The Mayhew Animal Home is one of the few animal welfare organizations that provides veterinary trainings in Georgia, having regularly sent its vet teams to Tbilisi over the last few years. The organization managed to successfuly collaborate with city authorities, local NGOs and the Agrarian University of Georgia- the only establishment so far offering veterinary training and shelter management training in the country.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO COME TO GEORGIA? The Mayhew Animal Home operates a study program for vets from overseas who want to do something about the issues in their own country. One of the first vets we had in 2009 was Marika Chkhikvishvili, who came for an intensive study course in spaying and neutering. She was one of our best students. When she became the Head Vet at the Agrarian University Veterinarian Clinic not only were we happy, but we thought maybe we could help. We first came to Tbilisi in 2013, just to see what was going on, since we knew from Marika that things were quite bad, with lots of dogs on the streets and no organized structure in place to deal with them. When we came, we did some training here at the

university and then we went to see the municipal shelter and, basically, it’s grown from there. We’ve come back every year since then and our visits comprise of vet training, support of some of the local charities, helping in the Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release program, and also, more recently, we’ve started working with the Agrarian University to try and suggest improvements to the Veterinary Science degree- what we’ve found out is that in veterinary schools there is very little understanding about cats and dogs, with a considerable holes in the curriculum. Georgia is not alone in this- it’s the same throughout Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union countries. It’s rather concerning when you have inexperienced people conducting surgical procedures!

ARE THERE ANY VISIBLE CHANGES SINCE YOUR LAST VISIT? Oh, absolutely! There’s still a lot to do, but there is visible change. In fact, we would say that Tbilisi City authorities have been very open to our suggestions. That’s why we come back - because they’re showing willingness to change.

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE MOST DIFFICULT THING IS TO CHANGE, A POLICY OR AN ATTITUDE? There have been new legislations and policies brought in… How that is enforced is always a problem not only in Georgia but in every country you go to. The most difficult thing is to change the attitude of people and the understanding of why there are dogs on the streets, where they come from and how we can deal with it in a sustainable, humane way. There must be a long-term approach. Taking an animal from the street to the shelter is not enough. The main thing that people fail to realize is that dogs roaming the streets come from owned dogs that are not sterilized or castrated, often freely let out onto the streets. Dogs get pregnant and

UNFPA: Most Georgian Families Still Prefer Sons to Daughters BY NATIA LIPARTELIANI

T

he United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has published its 2016 report on the State of the World Population. In Georgia the continued widespread harmful practice of gender-based sex selection was identified. According to the report, if a family has only one child, most Georgian respondents say they would prefer the child to be a boy rather than a girl. In concrete numbers: 46 percent of Georgian citizens would prefer a boy, 45 percent say the sex does not matter and only 9 percent would prefer to have a girl. The report claims that in some parts of the world, a 10-year-old girl already begins making choices that will influence her education. “But in other parts of the world, a 10-year-old girl’s horizons are limited. As she reaches puberty, a formidable combination of relatives, figures in her community, social and cultural norms, institu-

Source: Women UK

tions and discriminatory laws block her path forward. By age 10, she may be forced to marry. She may be pulled out of school to begin a lifetime of childbearing and servitude to her husband. At 10, she may become property, a commodity that can be bought and sold,” says the report. The new United Nations 2030 Agenda aims to ensure sustainable, equitable, inclusive development that leaves no one behind. The 15-year plan promises to help transform the futures of millions of 10-year-old girls who have traditionally been left behind. Georgia has a reputation for being a patriarchal society. As the UNFPA report suggests, stereotypes concerning gender roles still run deep in Georgian society. Custom has established Georgian men as wage-earners, the heads of households and the upholders of familial honor. Children are taught from an early age to associate certain things like toys, colors, and songs with gender. Domestic activities like cleaning, cooking, taking out the trash and taking care of babies are all seen to be firmly in the realm of women’s work.

Agrarian Vet Clinic Students during an operation. Source: Irakli Dolidze/GT

people don’t want puppies, so the street dog population grows.

IN YOUR OPINION, IS TBILISI A DOG-FRIENDLY CITY? There are lots of Georgians who love their pets and you do have lots of dog owners. The problem lies in understanding the issues that a large quantity of street dogs may bring, so you need to explain it clearly to the general public and share the solution. The major challenge is to get local communities onboard.

DO YOU PLAN TO TRAIN GEORGIAN STUDENTS AT MAYHEW INTERNATIONAL, UK? We want to start accepting more students and we’ve even made our building bigger. We will hopefully

have some Georgian students at the end of next year, but when we come here we can reach many more. They may not do practical work immediately, but they can participate in events like these, in lectures, and the same goes for vets and vet assistants at the Tbilisi municipal shelter as well.

HOW WOULD YOU SUMMARIZE THE RECENT NEUTER AND SPAY DAY? Because of our relations with the Agrarian University Veterinarian Clinic, we’ve trained quite a few vets here who will then show their practice to the students. It’s always good that they see high standard surgery, a humane way of dealing with and handling the animals. If you can change the simple things, it can have a big impact on the way people carry a dog, inject them, and care about them before and after the surgery.

Boris Akunin Meets Georgian Readers BY NATIA LIPARTELIANI

O

n October 18, one of Russia’s most widely read contemporary authors, Grigory Chkhartishvili, who is of Georgian origin and works under the pseudonym Boris Akunin, visited

Georgia. The Georgian National Book Center, together with Ilia State University, hosted his meeting with readers. Chkartishvili discussed his work, his visit to Georgia and the Russian-Georgian political and cultural relationship. The author, also an essayist and literary translator, is one of the best-selling suspense writers in Russia, famous for his detective stories set in the same country in the 19th century. He was born in Georgia, but, aged two, moved with his family moved to Moscow where he has lived ever since. “Boris Akunin” is not just one of Russia’s most popular novelists: he has recently emerged as a powerful voice in his country’s opposition movement and has been an avid critic of President Putin’s Domestic and Foreign Policy. Growing up in Russia with a Georgian surname had its pros and cons for the writer. At school he would often find himself the victim of bullying and years later he became the victim of ‘the main bully of Russia’ (so he refers to Russia’s current president Vladimir Putin) who told citizens that Akunin was the enemy of the Russian people due to his ethnic origin. In the spring of 2014, the writer, who owns an 18th-century chateau in Brittany, France, announced that he plans not to return to Russia until the [political] climate and atmosphere change. “I do not see the point of carrying out political

activities in Russia; nothing will change. The mobility of people is too low and not enough people actually want change.” As such, he says, it is better to distribute ideas and mobilize people through his writings. Georgian readers asked why he has never mentioned Georgia in his writings. To that, he answered that he needs to explore places that are used for his novel settings in detail, as those locations need to give him particular emotional vibes and sensory reactions. Right now he is working on a new novel and plans to visit several locations throughout his country of birth. At the close of the meeting, the writer was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Ilia State University.


GEORGIA TODAY

SOCIETY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

11

The Nightly Grind: Ogden on Georgian Medics OP-ED BY TIM OGDEN

M

y wife is a doctor, and a few times a week she has to work the night shift at her hospital. O n e wo u l d h ave thought that after six years in this country, I might have understood exactly what that entails, but my original suppositions were proved strikingly wrong. An old girlfriend of mine works as a doctor in the UK and she too has to work the night shift. She arrives at work in the evening, works through the night, and then goes home in the morning. I imagine this is more or less the same drill in Europe and North America, but the practice does not extend to Georgia. My wife goes to work in the morning at nine o'clock, and then works her regular working day; she is then expected to work all through the night, and then all through the next day. If she is lucky, she will have grabbed an hour of sleep, but she is not always so fortunate. The night shift in Georgia is simply working the night between your two working days. As I have written elsewhere on these pages, I have the highest regard for Georgian medics, and would rather find myself under the care of a Georgian doctor than anybody employed by Britain's NHS. However, I would hesitate to trust the judgement of any physician who has not slept in 36 hours regardless of their country of origin or practice, especially if they work in a field such as cardiology. I originally supposed that these appalling shifts were forced on her due to a lack of qualified doctors, but again I was

proved completely wrong. Many doctors in Georgia are female, but according to my wife (and others who work at other hospitals) their husbands forbid them from working the night shift. I hesitate to discuss the issue of Georgian men and their values once again, but it seems to me bitterly ironic that

men who openly boast about their reputation as the greatest lovers of the Soviet Union would secretly have such low confidence in their abilities that they cannot even trust their wives to work at night. As loathe as they are to let their women go out with friends at night, this kind of base male jealousy is not exclusive to Georgia – though admittedly

nowhere near as widespread in other countries – but the idea that men actively forbid their wives from working at night surprised me. This also leads on to the question of Georgian management. The fact that a woman's husband forbids her from working at night should not be an excuse for a female doctor (or anything else)

from doing her job. Contracts have to be honored; if someone cannot honor the terms of their contract, they should lose their job. This is, after all, how the civilized world – which Georgia so desperately wants to become a part of – functions. I understand the issue with it, of course. If bosses begin firing people for having difficult and secretly insecure husbands, they might soon have no employees left. I personally believe, however, that the threat – or perhaps one or two examples – ought to be enough to kick things into gear. I hope so, anyway. As things stand, first and foremost the situation is not fair on doctors who are prepared to work (and whose husbands are prepared to let them work) these crippling night shifts, but this also creates a danger to patients who may find themselves being treated by people who have not slept in almost two days. The West has been holding Georgia's hand in almost every professional sphere since 2003 (and whether Georgia deserves to be treated like Europe's drooling cousin is a debate for another time), but by and large the medical sector has not had the attention of other sectors such as the military, and it's my belief (and I could well be wrong) that it doesn't need it. At the risk of repeating myself, Georgian doctors are amongst the best I've encountered (and I've found myself damaged in some way in every country between Canada and Japan), but the best doctor in the world will not necessarily make the best manager or leader. Perhaps Europe should send more of its medical experts to Tbilisi to put the screws on Georgian medicine, so a handful of doctors don't have to do the work of fifty.


12

SOCIETY

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

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What Can I Say? TIFLIS 7.5x6cm ING.indd 1

BY TONY HANMER

I

t's been nearly six years since I emailed Georgia Today enquiring about writing regularly for them, and since being accepted soon after that I've not missed a weekly issue. Usually my articles are about what's happening in our village or elsewhere in Svaneti, but sometimes I write about other places I happen to be in, such as Zimbabwe, Canada or the UK. Having lived in seven countries and been to a total of 41, with three continents under my belt by the time I was four, it has been a wild ride, never dull. "Luck" put me in Moscow in August 1991 when the coup d'etat was happening against Mikheil Gorbachev, my only visit to the USSR. I had no Russian language ability at the time but knew it was history unfolding. Expecting to get the last few shots from my last roll of film, I ended up having to go to a poorly stocked shop in the city center to buy more on August 19. On the 20th, my friends and I flew out; my cargo pants' pockets were bulging with nine rolls, and I had no idea

what I'd do if these were confiscated... but they weren't. My precious frames stayed with me. Photo-journalism isn't my preferred style, but it had to be then. St Petersburg a year later, and much of northern and western Russia by train for the next seven years, were exhilarating for me, but probably more like terrifying for the average Russian. Hyperinflation ate away at ruble savings, until a house price was enough for a loaf of bread. Shops had to learn competition and customer fickleness as they began stocking a bewildering variety of goods, unknown previously. Available, but affordable too? Cutting across a top corner of Kazakhstan in 1993, going from Moscow to Novosibirsk, I expected my train stop to reveal camels and spice mounds, a Central Asian dream. No, just another former Soviet city of concrete! And preparing to move to Baku, Azerbaijan in 1999, I concentrated on the Shi'ite idea, instead of the right one. No headto-foot black with just the eyes showing women here! This wasn't Iran, it was, again, post-Soviet. But Baku for six months, fascinating as it was, was just a way-station on my route to Svaneti, the reason I had left

13/06/16 15:16

my beloved Russia for the Caucasus. The Svans were calling me home to a place I'd never been but would settle down in, married and landed at last. I own property nowhere else but in Georgia, and a house only in these mountains. Now, as Georgia considers the reality of its after-election period, with the American event looming in a few weeks, it feels like the world may be rushing into change faster than we can imagine. That's what satellite TV and the internet bring us, even tucked away up here in our splendid isolation as autumn's glowing colors and the occasional early snow almost make me weep for beauty every time I poke my head out the door. We're in a small village with a single concrete road running through it, no shops, DIY infrastructure, but we can still learn about world news seemingly as it happens, anywhere, instantly. I check my word count as I'm writing this, but that's just for convenience. I never lack for something to say, even if it's not exactly "what happened this week". Sometimes it's a bit meta, or recursive, or about itself, but that may not be irrelevant, sometimes. One of these years this will all, or mostly, end up in a book, my love song to Svaneti and the odd other place. But especially Svaneti. 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 over 1350 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

Read. Learn. Enjoy. Pick up a copy of Georgia Today Education at any BIBLUS shop or phone 229 59 19

Price: 2 Gel


GEORGIA TODAY

CULTURE

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

13

Tabliashvili’s Fairytale beyond Illusions Tabliashvili sees the function of an artist in making human beings and the universe better. “A good storyteller should have a good listener, too. For me, as an artist, the pain that stays on the canvas is a remedy. For every painter, the puzzle to solve is the maximal concurrence of form and content. However, one does not exclude the other. For me, an expressionistic approach is more topical. Impressionism is the thirst for life, for instance, Cezanne painted with depth, volume, love of life…” GEORGIA TODAY asked the artist which comes first for him in painting figures, particularly female figures– appearance or inner beauty? “First and foremost, a woman is the mother of new

BY MAKA LOMADZE

G

iorgi Tabliashvili is a humble painter in his 30s who has a gift from nature and ,seemingly, cannot stop working. As the German phrase goes, work sets you free. He says he is open to inner freedom, which in turn produces genuine art pieces. GEORGIA TODAY went to meet him at his solo exhibition at newly opened Grandpa Shaqro Bookshop. Having worked in different group exhibitions, and also with several solo exhibitions abroad to his credit, Giorgi says that, “Art is a way to free yourself from the captivity of an illusory world and is rather the process of creative searching for truth, hidden in the details of objects and events, apart from those attractive deceptions. This is my way to catharsis, if you will – an attempt to reach selfforgiveness and to forgive others, as well as an attempt to feel harmony and the beginning of the universe.” The exhibition features the painter’s old and new works including the largest wall of the bookshop itself, featuring angels hanging books on a washing-line and phrases written above them: “Heaven starts on Earth,” “Live to tell, “Escape your cage- be individual,” “Dare to feel good.” The series of angels, girls with birds, and horses demonstrate that the painter has retained a childish purity and cleanness… His pictures are rich in color, particularly his peculiar crimson and dark azure and are quite phantasmagoric. Even though he has combatted illusions, I dare say the painter still sees the beauty even in this sometimes quite grey world of ours.

However, his maturity is evident, too, well read in his abovementioned messages. “I try to make my audience find their own selves,” Tabliashvili told GEORGIA TODAY. “I also try to find and reveal myself. My aim is to make people feel spiritual connections. A painter should be very educated; from pure geometry

life. In her, all the signs of universal beauty are accumulated. God created Woman after Man, so she is much more perfect a creature than a man is, though the latter has his own advantages compared to the former. Appearance, I think, is the only supplement to make a woman’s essence perfect in order to culminate her depth and charm.” One can see Giorgi Tabliashvili’s works on: http://bu.com.ge/geo/news/story/15814-oqtombers-shaqro-babuas-tsignis-maghaziashi-giorgi-tabliashvilis-gamofena-gaikhsneba WHERE: GrandPa Shaqro Bookshop, 17b Chavchavadze Ave., Vake WHEN: Closes October 21

to psychology. The laws of art are based on the laws of nature and he universe. All of them belong to nature – color, proportion, geometry… Here, purely intuitive things are also involved– the so-called 6th sense. I try to fit my paintings to my disposition as much as I can and to see the inner essence of this or that object; to tell the story.”

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CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY

OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

WHAT’S ON IN TBILISI THEATER

GEORGIAN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS GIFT IN TBILISI October 15 – November 25 October 21 A LONG BREAK Data Firtskhalava Directed by Vano Khutsishvili Start time: 20:00 Address: 2 Rustaveli Ave., Griboedov Theater October 22, 23 KING LEAR William Shakespeare Directed by Zura Getsadze Start time: 20:00 Address: Tumanishvili Film Actors Theater, 164 Agmashenebeli Ave. October 25 FELICITAS Libby Scala Mono Play A one-woman show written & performed by Libby Skala Mandolin music by Steven May Directed by Janice L. Goldberg New York, United States Start time: 17:00 Address: Tumanishvili Film Actors Theater, 164 Agmashenebeli Ave. October 27 AS MANY DEMONS AS YOU LIKE Based on Jerzy Pilch’s story “Wieledemonów” Directed by Jašek Glomb Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 20:00 Address: Tumanishvili Film Actors Theater, 164 Agmashenebeli Ave. GEORGIAN STATE PANTOMIME THEATRE Address: 37 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 63 14 October 21 TERENTI GRANELI Directed by Amiran Shalikashvili Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10 GEL October 22 ST. GEORGE Directed by Amiran Shalikashvili Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 10 GEL GRIBOEDOVI THEATRE Address: 2 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 93 43 36 October 22 ENGLISH DETECTIVE Agatha Christie Directed by Vakhtang Nikolava Start time: 18:00 Ticket: 5 GEL

October 23 TALE OF KING SALTAN Directed by Avtandil Varsimashvili Start time: 12:00 Ticket: 5 GEL GABRIADZE THEATRE Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 October 21 AUTUMN OF MY SPRING Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15, 20 GEL October 22, 23, 27 MARSHAL DE FANTIE’S DIAMOND Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15, 20 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 October 21 RECITATIVE IN THE CITY Directed by Kakha Bakuradze Start time: 21:00 Free Entry October 22, 23 * Premiere THE TEMPEST Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 15 GEL CINEMA

AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava St. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket price: 5 Lari October 25 CORIOLANUS Directed by Tim Van Someren Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Mark Gatiss, Hadley Fraser Language: English Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 17 GEL October 21-27 INFERNO Directed by Ron Howard Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster Genre: Mystery, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 13-14 GEL

JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE Directed by Xavier Dolan Cast: Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard Genre: Drama Language: Russian Start time: 19:30, 22:30 Ticket: 13-14 GEL

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane Genre: Action, War Language: Russian Start time: 11:45, 19:30, 19:45 Ticket: 8-14 GEL

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Directed by Travis Knight Cast: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family Language: Russian Start time: 19:30, 22:30 Ticket: 13-14 GEL

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

RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 55 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket: 5 GEL October 21-27 MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN Directed by Tim Burton Cast: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy Language: Russian Start time: 14:15, 17:00, 22:30 Ticket: 9-14 GEL INFERNO (Info Above) Start time: 14:30, 22:15 Ticket: 9-14 GEL KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (Info Above) Start time: 12:30, 15:00, 19:30, 22:00 Ticket: 8-14 GEL MASTERMINDS Directed by Jared Hess Cast: Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Jason Sudeikis Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime Language: Russian Start time: 12:00, 17:15 Ticket: 8-12 GEL JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Directed by Edward Zwick Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime Language: Russian Start time: 12:45, 15:00 Ticket: 8-10 GEL USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE Directed by Mario Van Peebles

MUSEUM

PERMANENT EXHIBITION: GEORGIAN ARCHAEOLOGY FROM 8TH MILLENNIUM B.C. TO 4TH CENTURY A.D EXHIBITION OF GEORGIAN WEAPONRY NUMISMATIC TREASURY The exhibition showcases a long history of money circulation on the territory of modern Georgia from the 6th century BC. to 1834. June 11 – March 11 (2017) EXHIBITION "MEDIEVAL TREASURY" June 16 – December 16 THE EXHIBITION “NEW DISCOVERIES GEORGIAN ARCHAEOLOGY” September 27 – September 22 (2017) EXHIBITION "STONE AGE GEORGIA" MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 3 Sh. Rustaveli Ave.

SHINDISI SCREENS KETUTA ALEXI-MESKHISHVILI IN COLLABORATION WITH LEVAN CHOGOSHVILI MUSIC

TBILISI ZAKARIA PALIASHVILI OPERA AND BALLET THEATRE Address: 25 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 04 56 October 26 VAKHTANG MACHAVARIANI AND GEORGIAN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Participants: Vakhtang Machavariani, Megi Chikhradze Start time: 19:30 Ticket: 10-40 GEL TBILISI CONCERT HALL Address: 1 Melikishvili St. Telephone: 2 99 00 99 October 21 DOCTORS FOR DOCTORS AND FRIENEDS FOR DOCTORS Concert Start time: 18:00 Ticket: 10-20 GEL HIPPODROME PARK Address: Old Hippodrome October 22 GESAFFELSTEIN, AKA MIKE LEVY Gesaffelstein, AKA Mike Levy, is a Paris-based DJ-producer who reconnects hard techno to its industrial roots. Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 50 GEL

PERMANENT EXHIBITION IOSEB GRISHASHVILI TBILISI HISTORY MUSEUM KARVASLA Address: 8 Sioni St. Telephone: 2 98 22 81 October 15-27 EXHIBITION "HERE THERE. MATTERS OF LOCATION, CONTEMPORARY GEORGIAN ART" October 19-28 EXHIBITION "NEW BABYLONIANS" GALLERY

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge PERMANENT EXHIBITION Niko Pirosmanashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili and sculptor Iakob Nikoladze. June 24, 2016 – June 24, 2017 NIKO PIROSMANASHVILI’S WORKS “YARD CLEANER” AND “EAGLE SEIZING A HARE” September 28 - September 28 (2017) PIROSMANI’S ROE AT A STREAM October 5-26 THE CONTEMPORARY CERAMIC ARTISTS' EXHIBITION "CLAY WALL PIECE" October 7-23 THE EXHIBITION “TO SEE A WORLD IN A GRAIN OF SAND” BY IRAKLI BUGIANI NECTAR GALLERY Address: 88 Bochorishvili Str. October 11 – November 5

SPORTS PALACE Address: Kostava Str. October 22 OKEAN ELZY World Tour “Bez mej” Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 40 GEL TBILISI EVENT HALL Address: 1 Melikishvili St. Telephone: 2 99 00 99 October 22 BLUES SUMMIT KOKA & T.BLUES MOB Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 15-20 GEL FABRIKA Address: Ninoshvili Str. October 22 FABRICATION OF MUSIC Korina Ruba, Levan Tskhadadze Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 30 GEL MOVEMENT THEATER Address: 182, Aghmashenebeli Ave., Mushthaid park Telephone: 599 555 260 October 25, 27 JAM SESSION Leaders: Reso Kiknadze (sax), Nika Gabadze (guitar), Misha Japaridze (bass), Irakli Choladze / Gio Kapanadze (drums) Start time: 21:00 October 26 TANGO EVENING Milonga La Kumparsita Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 5 GEL


CULTURE

GEORGIA TODAY OCTOBER 21 - 24, 2016

15

WHERE to Go, Stay, Eat, Drink and Buy in October

W

e are proud to present the fourth successful edition of the new magazine for touri s t s - W h e r e . g e, designed to guide you around city and country and introduce you to little-known facts and well-known sites. This autumn issue you can get to know the world of Churchkhela, made using pressed grape juice, then find out more about the top grape-growing region it comes from, Kakheti. Editor Katie Davies takes you to the best museums and churches in that same region while Tim Ogden reveals his top museums in the capital, Tbilisi, and blogger Tatiana Remneva explains why the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum should be on your “must-see” list while here. Our Svaneti-based writer Tony Hanmer has a double treat for you this issuedescribing the ins and outs of not just one of the top Georgian souvenirs- the Svan hat -but also the culinary secrets of the far-off mountainous region in which he resides. Turn to page 84 for our recommended coffee and tea spots and to page 102 to discover the best places to shop for a unique Georgian carpet. Our special guests (one for each section) entertain and inform with their top Go, Stay, Eat, Drink and Buy choices, this month including the General Managers of top hotels Hilton Batumi and Ambassadori Tbilisi, MAQRO Construction Chief of Project Development, Oguz Kaan Karaer, OK! Fashion Editor Gvantsa Salakaia and Maia Tsereteli, Executive Director of KMS Georgia. Our comprehensive listings give you quick reference guides to the vast options available throughout the country- from guest houses to 5 star hotels, galleries to

house museums, and from Georgian to Asian cuisine. Keeping to tradition, Where.ge continues to cater for all tastes and budgets. Interested? Head on down to the souvenir shops in the Old Town- on Lesel-

idze Street and in the Abanotubani and Sharden areas for your copy of WHERE. Otherwise, grab your free copy of WHERE at one of the hotels or café-bars in central Tbilisi. Feel free to contact WHERE management via E-mail: any@where.ge

Product Management Workshop for Performing Arts Professionals in Adjara BY KATIE RUTH DAVIES

A

s part of the Performing Arts Support Program in Adjara, and as part of five years of cooperation between the British Council and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Adjara Autonomous Republic in Georgia to strengthen the capacity of the Georgian theater sector by introducing UK expertise, on 15-17 October a Production Management Workshop was held. The British Council invited David Evans, British expert and Head of Production at the National Theater, Wales. During the three-day training, special attention was given to the production process, from initial idea to first performance and beyond. Participants were familiarized with the British experience of production management- its terms, basic requirements, pre-production, rehearsals, production and post-production processes. David Evans is a Director/Trustee of the Association of British Theater Technicians and a founding member of SiPA,

an organization that promotes sustainable practice across the industry. Evans has worked in 31 countries including Jamaica, Japan, Russia, Australia and Brazil and has worked with many companies visiting the UK, including the Romanian, Moldovan and Ukrainian National Operas, the Dance Theater of Taiwan and the Alvin Ailey American

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George Sharashidze COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENT

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GEORGIA TODAY

EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT:

Editor-In-Chief: Katie Ruth Davies

Dance Theater. Participants in the recent workshop were impressed with the detailed discussions on planning and budgeting. “I got some great tips and theoretical knowledge which I plan to implement in my work,” said one attendee. “It was very useful to hear the British Experience.”

Journalists: Tony Hanmer, Zaza Jgarkava, Maka Bibilashvili, Karen Tovmasyan, Dimitri Dolaberidze, Maka Lomadze, Tim Ogden, Joseph Larsen, Vazha Tavberidze, Nugzar B. Ruhadze, Nino Gugunishvili, Thea Morrison, Natia Liparteliani

Photographer: Giorgi Pridonishvili Layout: Misha Mchedlishvili Webmaster: Sergey Gevenov Circulation Managers: David Kerdikashvili, David Djandjgava

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Reproducing material, photos and advertisements without prior editorial permission is strictly forbidden. The author is responsible for all material. Rights of authors are preserved. The newspaper is registered in Mtatsminda district court. Reg. # 06/4-309


Issue #889  

Oct. 21 - 24, 2016

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