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Issue no: 967

• JULY 28 - 31, 2017



In this week’s issue... 3 Construction Workers Die, Alleged Violation of Safety Rules NEWS PAGE 2

The Unsuccessful Rule of Vladimir Putin POLITICS PAGE 6


Poll Results Show Georgians Concerned About Labor Rights

ON CREATIVE EUROPE EU's Creative Europe program works alongside Georgian publishers to bring European literature to Georgian bookshelves


Ukraine Deprives Georgia’s ExPresident Saakashvili of Citizenship


Dance in School International Project Presentation Held at Rustavi Theater SOCIETY PAGE 11


Boosting Tourism through Ballet


eorgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has lost his Ukrainian citizenship. According to official reports, his citizenship was deprived due to violations of Article 19 of the Law on Ukrainian Citizenship. Ukrainian media reports that the State Migration Service has said that Saakashvili had submitted incorrect information when he applied for citizenship in 2015. He said that he was not under investigation in Ukraine or abroad, while in fact he was being investigated in Georgia for various charges. Ex-Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Davit Sakvarelidze, a Saakashvili ally, wrote on Facebook that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s decision puts him in line with other world dictators. “Poroshenko has stripped Saakashvili of his citizenship and banned him from entering Ukraine. He’s so scared! Ukraine has got a new Yanukovych – an English-speaking one,” Sakvarelidze’s post reads. Kyivpost reports that according to Reformist

Georgian Mountains Wine Company


lawmaker Sergii Leshchenko, Saakashvili is now in the United States. “Saakashvili cannot physically come back to Ukraine because he will be arrested in Boryspil when he arrives and will be immediately extradited to Georgia,” he said. Poroshenko gave Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, when appointing him as the Governor of Odesa.

In December 2015, Georgian authorities stripped Saakashvili of Georgian citizenship as dual citizenship is not allowed in Georgia. In November 2016, Saakashvili quit his post and formed an opposition party and was seen heavily criticizing Ukrainian authorities. Saakashvili was the third president of Georgia between 2004-2007 and again from 20082013.




JULY 28 - 31, 2017

Fire Burns Forest in 3 Construction Workers Die, South-East Georgia Alleged Violation of Safety Rules BY THEA MORRISON


blaze has destroyed around 1,000 square meters of the Arjevanidze Forest near the mineral water town of Tsagveri, 20 km from Borjomi in south-eastern Georgia, SamtskheJavakheti region. The fire started on Wednesday and at time of going to press, fire crews are still working to extinguish minor hubs of fire, with 100 firefighters said to have been working throughout the night on Wednesday to localize the blaze. The exact cause of the fire is as yet unknown, but it is alleged to have broken out due to the high temperature. Head of LEPL National Forestry Agency, Tornike Gvazava, stated that strips of

land had been mineralized on the territory in order to contain and prevent the spread of fire. Samtskhe-Javakheti Governor, Akaki Machutidze, says that all the services are mobilized in the region and there is no panic among the population, while the Emergency Management Agency reported there was no need for the evacuation of locals as the forest is not near the populated area.

Tbilisi's Vake Park Set to Merge with Turtle Lake BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI


ake Park in Tbilisi is set to have its borders expanded, with the aim of merging it with Turtle Lake (Kus Tba), also in the Georgian capital. The merged territory, comprising of approximately 34 hectares, will be listed

as a cultural heritage site and will be placed under one land cadastre code. The decision was announced by Davit Narmania, Tbilisi Mayor, at a meeting earlier this week, who claimed the plan to be crucial and beneficial for the city. Vake Park consists of 18 hectares on its own, and with the planned addition of Turtle Lake, the total area will consist of 34 hectares, making it one of the largest recreational areas of central Tbilisi.



his week, three young workers lost their lives and three others were seriously injured at the construction sites in Tbilisi. Investigation is ongoing under Article 240 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, pertaining to violation of safety rules during mining, construction or other works. On Wednesday, Nikoloz Salia, 31, died during the dismantling works of a building on Tsereteli Avenue, Didube District, Tbilisi. Three other workers were also caught in the ruins and are now in hospital. The place where demolition works are underway belongs to the construction company Royal Group, whose representatives have yet to make an appearance at the site. The company has received repeated warnings from the Labor Inspection Service due to the absence of relevant conditions, but experts on scene following the accident confirmed that the safety norms had still not been met. “The standards here have been violated. The workers must not carry out dismantling works manually- a machine must be used,” Elza Jgerenaia, head of the Labor Inspection Service of Georgia, stressed after examining the site. A day before the incident, a young worker, 27, fell off the building and died, allegedly due to the absence of safety standards. Prior to this, a young worker was electrocuted during repair works on a construction in Digomi District. He fell from

the building and died instantly. In 2015, 14 workers died and 22 were injured on construction sites, while last year the number of workers killed reached 18, with 23 injured. According to the data of January-July 2017, 10 construction workers have died and 5 have been injured, allegedly due to improper working conditions. Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili, says that the number of such cases has increased of late, which indicates that the safety system is failing in the country. “High rates of injuries and deaths of people in the workplace clearly indicate that the issue is very serious in Georgia and requires a timely, systemic and consistent approach in order to radically change the situation. Safety should be the main priority for the State, as it should

for employers and employees,” the Ombudsman stated, going on to note that the Parliament of Georgia is currently discussing the draft Law on Labor Safety. “It is important that the government is able to create a legislative framework that provides for healthy and safe working environments for all employees. However, the submitted version does not fully ensure the creation of an effective labor inspection mechanism and the protection of labor safety in the country,” Nanuashvili claimed. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also share Public Defender’s position. They believe that the existing Labor Inspection Service, which only gives recommendations, is not efficient and that the Law on Labor Safety needs to be tightened.


GEORGIA TODAY JULY 28 - 31, 2017


'Gorgeous Georgia' - The Guardian Features Article on Svaneti Mountains snowy peaks," the article reads. The author describes in detail local Svani life, mentioning dishes such as kubdari and drinks such as home-made chacha. The article is based on a walking tour of the region, describing the trek from the village of Mulakhi back to Mestia, "The hardest decision was choosing the perfect viewpoint for lunch. We sat in bright sunlight surrounded by a kaleidoscopic carpet of flowers. To the right was the grey-white mass of the Ushba glacier, below the sparkling green valley with the ancient watchtowers of Mestia marching across it. It had been a long, sometimes soggy, journey. But absolutely worth it." This is not the first time The Guardian has published an article on Georgia, the last one was based on a weekend break to Tbilisi, since the initiation of a direct flight between London Gatwick and Tbilisi. Read the full article online.



ritish newspaper The Guardian has published an article on Svaneti, entitled 'Gorgeous Georgia: walking in the Svaneti mountains' The article coincides with new direct flights between the UK and Georgia, specifically Kutaisi, which, as the paper describes, is "a gateway for exploring the Svaneti region, home to the mighty Caucasus mountains". The article goes on to describe the mountainous region, with specific references to the village of Becho, located north of Mestia, the biggest town in the Svaneti region. "As the road wound upwards, snowy peaks came into view, surrounded by cloud. Below us a muddy river raged. We emerged from tunnels into blinding sunlight. Our destination was Becho, a gaggle of houses along a thick track, surrounded by green meadows and

Work on Creating MountainPedestrian Trails across Georgia Underway BY THEA MORRISON


he Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) says it is continuing construction work for the creation of a network of mountain-pedestrian trails across the country. Within the framework of the project, national standards for marking the first mountain tracks were created back in 2016. At this stage, the Racha-LechkhumiKvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti,

Source: The Guardian

Photo: Ushguli, Svaneti. Coursey of Georgian Tour

Samtskhe-Javakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Guria and Imereti regions have been included thus far within the project. Talks are currently being held regarding the Kvemo Kartli and Shida Kartli regions. GNTA reports that the selection of Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo-Svaneti as well as the mountainous Samegrelo routes are ongoing. At the end of the year, Georgia will have formed a network of 600 kilometers of trials. The work is set to be completed within 2-3 years, and will cover the whole country.

Bakuriani to Become 4-Season Resort BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI


he presentation of the Kokhta-Mitarbi resort project was held at the Rooms Hotel on July 26, introducing the plan to transform Bakuriani’s Kokhta-Mitarbi area into a four-season resort of international standards, with new hotels and an apartment complex to be built within the Bakuriani development project. In 2015, a memorandum between the Georgian Reconstruction and Development Company (GRDC) and the State was signed, under which the GRDC is to build the hotel and apartment complex, with the State charged with infrastructure development and installing a new ski slope in the area. World-renowned French companies GEODE and COMPAGNIE DES ALPES are said to have participated in carrying

out the area development regulation plan. The hotels and apartment complex at Kokhta-Mitarbi will have a ski-in, skiout concept, meaning that for the maximum comfort of visitors, the hotels and apartment complexes will be integrated with the ski slopes. The Kokhta-Mitarbi project consists of several phases. In cooperation with Rooms Hotel, the first stage entails building a new 100-room capacity hotel, expected to open and receive its first visitors in 2018.

The apartment complexes are under construction and will have fully-fitted interiors. Closed parking lots, cafés, restaurants, bars and entertainment zones will also be available. The first stage of the project will be finalized in 2018, its next stages to encompass the Mitarbi area development. It is believed that in the near future, the Kokhta and Mitarbi areas will become an attractive destination for family vacationers, tourists and sports fans yearround.

Fire at Rustavi 2 Headquarters BY NINO GUGUNISHVILI


fire broke out at Rustavi 2 television station late We d n e s d a y n i g h t , destroying at least 40 square metres of the building. It was reported that the fire started in the area that connects the three main buildings. Employees of Rustavi 2 television channel were the first to notice smoke in the building, who then proceeded to call 112, the Emergency and Operative Response Center. They tried to extinguish the fire

themselves before the emergency services arrived, even managing to take some of the technical equipment out of the building. The fire brigade sent six teams to try to extinguish the blaze, as well as ambulances to attend to any injured people. The police were also present to rule out arson. No-one was injured, the fire was subsequently localized and extinguished. The cause of the fire is unknown at time of going to press. Nodar Meladze, Head of the Information Department at Rustavi 2, says that the area where the fire started is particularly susceptible to fire, with the majority of the electrical equip-

ment kept in the area, together with the studio decorations and props, which are made of wood. “The fact the fire started in the part of the building where highly flammable objects are stored raises some suspicion,” said Zaal Udumashvili, Former Deputy General Director and news TV anchor at Rustavi 2 and one of the candidates for the post of Tbilisi Mayor. “The surveillance cameras in the area were damaged, eliminating the possibility to view CCTV recording”. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia have already started an investigation. The amount of damage caused by the fire will be assessed.




JULY 28 - 31, 2017

Out with the New, In with the Old? OP-ED BY ZAZA JGARKAVA


ince ex-premiere Bidzina Ivanishvili can’t be seen in public anymore and is clearly not taking part in the Georgian Dream pre-election campaign, unusual processes of reincarnation can be seen in the local politics. It is hard to believe the “revival� of those forgotten faces which have started to emerge like mushrooms after the rain. Just the example of the former head of State Security, Igor Giorgadze, is enough, who fled to Moscow years ago. Few know that in a few weeks’ time, Tbilisi City Court is to make the final decision according to which he might be proven innocent due to “lack of evidence�. This will give a green light to the unequivocal favorite of the Kremlin to enter Georgian politics. This assumption seems even more realistic in light of him having been removed from the Interpol search list some time ago. The case of the ex-head of State Security has been in court since 2015. In 2016, the trial began in the absence of the defendant, whose lawyers are already announcing that by all means the court will close with Giorgadze’s full rehabilitation. One of the charges against him is Act 65 (old edition) – treason; according to the Prosecution, Giorgadze and his supporters plotted an attack in August 29, 1995 against then-President Eduard Shevardnadze. So, the 22 year-old case is being investigated with special interest in 2017, some three months ahead of the elections; quite strangely, nobody was aware of this process except for Rustavi 2 TV, which recently spread the information about the upcoming trial. The same happened last year, when Giorgadze’s case became the hot thing just before the Parliamentary elections, seeing City Court devoting a whole series of processes to the matter. Why? Whose interests could Giorgadze’s activities serve and what role might the former security minister

play in Georgian politics? Apart from his persona, the case of 1995 also offers up other interesting details, especially the fact that the current Minister of Environmental Protection, Gigla Agulasjvili, and MP Koba Narchemashvili are being questioned in court- in that period the investigator of special cases and working on Giorgadze’s case. It turns out the former prosecutor-investigators are the authors of the massive accusation filed against Giorgadze; it is also interesting whether the court will further question these politicians and if the charges will be raised against them in case of Giorgadze being proved innocent?!

For years, Giorgadze has been announcing his return to Georgia, the message being shaped more clearly in recent years. In 2012, Giorgadze said that his lawyer filed a request to the Prosecutor's Office to remove his search status, with the ex-minister declaring: “none of the courts, nor any investigative authorities, have charged me. I can’t see any hindering conditions for not returning to Georgia.� This announcement was made in his online-press conferences via a media press club, in which he talked about his plans. He added that all accusations made against him were changed by the witnesses during the trial, however, he wasn’t able to

return to the country during the years of the former government. Furthermore, Giorgadze talked about being involved in more than one thing in Georgia: “I haven’t stopped being involved in the political life in Georgia. I have a registered the party ‘Justice,’ I am its head and have continued to work. In 2009, in Moscow, I registered a social movement ‘Georgia Abroad,’ which united Georgians who had been forced to leave the country... I have contacts and I always try to use them in favor of Georgia to the maximum.� What influence will Igor Giorgadze have upon returning to Georgia? Political analyst Gia Khukhashvili says that his chances equal to zero as, for understandable reasons, Georgian Dream won’t let him get any closer as it doesn’t want to give reason for criticism. “For now, Ivanishvili has withdrawn from the political processes, but hasn’t completely torn himself from the responsibility. Ivanishvili hasn’t left Georgian Dream and Giorgadze’s appearance and return will factually mean that Ivanishvili has left. Is would be impossible otherwise. Therefore, either Ivanishvili will soon be returning to the Avant scene or the chaos that has been going on in the governmental party will continue�. The process of appearance of people like Sandro Bregadze will go on. Notable are Bregadze’s political perspectives after the head of Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Aslan Abashidze, fled to Moscow in 2004. He wasn’t seen for 13 years, but has emerged now and quite scandalously so- with the Georgian March, which was held against trading land to foreigners- seeing him protesting the general loyal attitude of the country towards foreigners. Suddenly, the former ambassador of Georgia to Russia, Vazha Lortkipanidze, arose, too, he who had previously highlighted his friendship with the Russian President Putin. As we can see, the disappearance of Ivanishvili is quite directly connected with the revival of pro-Russian faces. The only thing left is to call on him in unison under his Solokali or Shekvetili Residences: “Show uuup, show uuup, show uuup!�

Parliament Overrides President’s 3 Vetoes BY THEA MORRISON


FIRST BRAND HOTEL IN KUTAISI UNDER BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL Within the framework of the Georgian Hotels’ Regional Network Development Project “12 hotels in 12 regionsâ€? by GHYHORSPHQWFRPSDQ\Âł6LPHWULD´WKHÂżUVWEUDQGKRWHOKDV been opened in Kutaisi under the Best Western International brand. The hotel accommodates 45 guest rooms, including 40 standard rooms and 5 suites. The hotel was designed taking into consideration special conditions and safety for guests with disabilities.

Address: 11 Grishashvili Str., 4600, Kutaisi, Georgia TEL 219 71 00 info@bwkutaisi.com

Three mobile conference halls are available with a total capacity of about 100 persons. (XURSHDQFXLVLQHFDQEHHQMR\HGLQWKHJURXQGĂ€RRUFDIp and a grill-bar menu in the roof top restaurant with panoramic views over the city. The International Hotels Management Company “T3 Hospitality Management,â€? providing the hotel management, has 20 years’ experience in hotel management in different countries globally.

eorgian parliament has overridden three vetoes of President Giorgi Margvelashvili on two bills of the Election Code and on one draft code of selfGovernment. The parliament did not take into account the president’s motivated remarks about the bills and overrode vetoes on the Election Code drafts, with 94 votes to 5, and 92 votes to 3. The veto on the Self-Government draft law was overridden with 94 votes to 5 against. According to the amendments made by the ruling party Georgian Dream (GD) to the Election Code, which Margvelashvili did not sign, the rules for the appointment of the Central Election Committee (CEC) members and the termination of their term have changed. The new law envisages that the six members of the CEC will be appointed by those parties who have been registered independently, or by election blocs, to participate in parliamentary elections and which received the mandates of MPs and created a parliamentary faction. This means that the appointment of CEC members by parties in the election administration will depend on the number of votes received by the party in the recent parliamentary elections. This enables the ruling party to have more representatives in the CEC. The rule of electing the CEC Head also changes. At present, the CEC Head is nominated by the President and approved by the CEC members, but under the new amendments, the CEC Head will be elected either by two thirds of the CEC members or by Parliament. The second Election Code bill adopted by the parliament also reduces the president’s powers, depriving him of the right to

appoint snap elections for Mayor in case of the early termination of the Mayor's term. At present, the President is authorized to appoint early local elections with the countersignature of the Prime Minister. The new amendments to the Local Election Code adopted by the parliament envisage that the Central Election Commission will have the right to appoint the snap elections instead of the president. The Self-Government draft law amendments envisage reduction of self-governing cities. Among 14 municipalities in Georgia, seven are self-governing cities (Zugdidi, Ozurgeti, Gori, Telavi, Akhaltsikhe, Mtskheta and Ambrolauri), and they will lose their status and be transformed into municipalities. Moreover, the number of self-governing cities will be reduced from twelve to five. This means that during the local elections scheduled for this October, mayors will only be elected in Tbilisi, Batumi, Rustavi, Kutaisi and Poti, while the remaining cities will be left without a mayor. As a result of the bill, there will be five self-governing cities and seven municipalities in the country. This year Parliament has overridden seven vetoes of the president. In order to override a veto, it is necessary to have at least 76 votes of MPs. The ruling party has 116 members in a 150-seat legislative body.




JULY 28 - 31, 2017

The Unsuccessful Rule of Vladimir Putin OP-ED BY EMIL AVDALIANI


he Russian president’s now already 17-year-long rule has oft been characterized as successful in foreign policy. Under him, Russia still experiences a veritable military resurgence which essentially started with the war with Georgia in 2008, followed by the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and successful entrance of Russian forces into the Syrian quagmire in the Middle East. In addition, Russia has strengthened its military bases across the former Soviet space and created various integration projects such as the Eurasian Union to unite the countries in its neighborhood. Beyond that, Moscow is often seen as playing an important (even successful) role in undermining European unity through cyberattacks, propaganda and corruption schemes.

FROM THE CAUCASUS TO UKRAINE AND BELARUS But only rarely is the lack of success Russian foreign policy over the last two decades mentioned. By the early 2000s, for instance, Moscow enjoyed pretty much uncontested political and military influence in its neighborhood except for the three Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. But since Putin came to power, in the South Caucasus Russian foreign policies have led to a deterioration of relations with Tbilisi and particularly after the revolution of 2003 (and coming to power of the overly ambitious Mikheil Saakashvili) that resulted in an open military confrontation. Sure, Moscow built its military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but the fact is that its southern flank remains to vulnerable, as Tbilisi (although it is still a distant prospect) has been quite successful in moving towards western military and political integration. Moving to the north-west, to the modern Ukraine, one could easily see how the political landscape dramatically changed and not in Moscow’s favor. Where, before 2014, through Ukraine’s neutrality,

Along the entirety of its western border, Russia has either lost direct political influence or is witnessing uncomfortable developments even in the countries it considered its closest allies

the Russian position in the country was well secured both economically and politically - and in case of necessity Moscow could even project its influence to the furthest points of western Ukraine and thus reach the heart of Europe - nowadays Russian control only extends to east Ukraine and parts of the Black Sea through the incorporated Crimea. Further west in Moldova, too, Russian influence, although it has been somewhat on the rise recently (because of the elected pro-Russian Igor Dodon), has declined. The country once characterized as being openly pro-Russian, has slipped towards becoming pro-European. Up in the north, in Belarus, Russia still enjoys a predominant position. But even in this often considered as most pro-Russian country, sentiments towards Moscow are not always positive. Paradoxically, the war in east Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Moscow, meant to send direct political messages to the countries across the former Soviet space, has led to rather different thinking in Minsk. The president Alexander Lukashenka with his acute understanding of the balance of power in the region, initiated a couple of years ago a policy of rapprochement with the West. The latter has accused him of autocratic rule and regularly imposed sanctions on the country since the 1990s, but over the past two years there have been some positive steps towards lifting some of the sanctions and extending closer economic ties. Thus, along the entirety of its western border, Russia has either lost direct political influence or is witnessing uncomfortable developments even in the countries it considered its closest allies. Moreover, Moscow’s response to constrain Ukraine’s, Moldova’s and Georgia’s EU/NATO accession plans through fostering and managing breakaway conflicts does not always work. Moscow now has to manage a diverse set of breakaway territories with varied actors and problems.

FROM THE WESTERN BORDERLANDS TO CENTRAL ASIA Central Asia is perhaps the only region most unperturbed by western encroachment, and Russia does not fear any increase in European and US influence there: geographic distance makes it simply too difficult for western countries to do so. Moreover, Russia is still a predominant military power, with bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. But there potential threat is coming from China, as the country has become the Central Asian states’ largest trade partner and source of investment. Beijing even made some steps towards its security involvement through military exercises and even construction of defensive infrastructure on the Tajik-Afghan border. Russian influence will remain a significant force in this region, but it is fascinating how this has diminished over the last two decades. Thus, along its entire perimeter, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, in South Caucasus and Central Asia, Russia has seen dramatic changes in the political landscape. The countries which were previously at least neutral to Russia military power and bases constitute an important instrument in projecting influence, but in all other aspects direct Russian political influence has diminished. This almost 20-year-perspective of the former Soviet space would, contrary to much-propounded thoughts of current leaders and pundits, confirm further decline of Russian power.




JULY 28 - 31, 2017

NDI Polls: Majority of Georgians Support Euro-Atlantic Aspirations BY THEA MORRISON


ecent poll results released by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia revealed that the majority of the respondents approve the Government’s goal for Georgia to become a member of the European Union (EU) and NATO. In particular, 77 percent of respondents support Georgia's goal to become a member of the EU, while for 16 percent it is unacceptable. As for NATO membership, the number of supporters was 66 percent while the idea is unacceptable for 23 percent. Moreover, 23 percent of respondents agree that Georgia should join the Eurasian Union, which was established by the Russian Federation, Belarus and Kazakhstan, while 62 percent of respondents believe Georgia should join the EU, which was founded by Western European countries. For visa-liberalization, 49 percent of NDI respondents agree that they will benefit from visa-free travel with the EU, while 42 percent disagree with the opinion. When asked whether they have heard about visa liberalization, 90 percent of respondents said they had heard and 9 said they had not. 58 percent of the respondents in ethnic minorities had heard about the visa-free travel with the EU and 37 percent has no such information. The number of citizens who think Georgia is developing in the right and wrong directions are equal at 31 percent for each group, while 35 percent of respondents think nothing has changed. Furthermore, 52 percent of respondents rate the

government’s performance as average. Only one percent estimated it as very good, 9 - good, 23 - bad, 12 - very bad, 52 percent - average. As for the discussions on the constitutional amendments, 89 percent of respondents say they had not participated in the discussions. 32 percent of respondents said they knew about the creation of the State Constitutional Commission and adoption of the draft constitution while 60 percent said they did not know. “It seems evident that more time, deliberation and research are needed on changes to the country’s most significant document, when so few are aware or have been consulted,” said Laura Thornton, NDI senior director. The survey shows that half of Georgians (52 percent) were aware of the new legislation revoking the status of seven self-governing cities and merging them with the municipalities, while 44 percent was unaware. The majority of citizens (59 percent) disapprove of the merging and single-body governing of these cities, and only 16 percent approve. Further, half believe it will have a negative impact on the country (45 percent) while only 11 percent see a positive impact. “The poll shows that the criticism from civil society, opposition political parties, and the President’s office of the changes in local government legislation is backed by the public, with extremely few citizens evaluating this legislation positively,” Thornton said. The survey results reflect data collected from June 18 to July 9, through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgia’s adult population, excluding occupied territories that included 2,261 completed interviews. NDI’s survey work is funded with UK aid from the British people and carried out by CRRC Georgia.

Consulting Services for Solid Waste Management DEADLINE: 24TH AUGUST 2017 Country: Georgia Ref.-N°: BMZ 2011 66 479 Prequalification Ref.: International, open Tender for “Integrated Solid Waste Management Kutaisi” Tenderer: Solid Waste Management Company of Georgia (SWMCG) Project Measures: The main features of the Project include the design and construction of a new Sanitary Landfill near Kutaisi (to replace the existing Kutaisi Landfill), as well as installation of five transfer stations in rural parts of the Project area and closure/clean-up of eight landfills. Requested Services: The services include the construction of the new Sanitary Landfill in Kutaisi, Georgia to serve the regions of Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti. The landfill will be located in an area of former military use, about 8 km east of Kutaisi, between the villages of Chognari and Godogani. The tendered works include the construction of the Phase 1 (approx. 5.4ha) for a lifetime of 7 years and a capacity of 800,000 m³ (the whole Sanitary Landfill is designed for a total lifetime of 20 years and a capacity of 2.2 million m³). The works will include the construction of a Sanitary Landfill including all necessary infrastructure for operation: buildings (administration, garage, and entrance control), leachate treatment, degassing system, etc. The applicant should have proven experience in general construction, sanitary landfill construction according to EU Standards, contract management and projects with significant Environmental, Social and Health and Safety impact. The prequalification of experienced Consultants is subject to the regulations contained in the „Guidelines for Assignment of Consultants in Financial Co-operation Projects“(see www.kfw-entwicklungsbank.de). The contract will be awarded to an independent Consultant firm with proven experience in the Solid Waste Management sector and the region and a minimum annual turnover of 10 (ten) million EUR for the last 3 years, calculated as total certified annual payments received for contracts in progress and/or completed. For further information please refer to http://waste.gov.ge or contact:info@waste.gov.ge


Poll Results Show Georgians Concerned About Labor Rights


ased on information released by The European Union for Georgia. The number of Georgians who think that their rights are protected has doubled in the last ten years. Nevertheless, every second Georgian feels insecure about the privacy of their personal data. Almost a third of respondents (27 percent on average, 36 percent in Tbilisi) see labor rights as the most frequently abused human rights in Georgia. Over half think that the rights of national/ethnic (57 percent) and religious (59 percent) minorities are violated. These form part of the findings of a nationwide audit commissioned by the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to examine public perceptions and awareness about human rights and access to justice in Georgia. The results of the survey were released on July 26, at a public presentation attended by representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, human rights institutions, international organizations, diplomatic missions, civil society and the media. “Human rights are at the very heart of the EU’s relations with Georgia. We assist the government to develop consistent policies and effective protection mechanisms, and we also work to open up the discussion space for civil society and people,” said

Vincent Rey, Head of the Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the EU to Georgia. The EU/UNDP research provides a comprehensive picture of public perceptions related to human rights and access to justice in Georgia, and assesses human rights awareness in Georgian society. “The findings of this study will assist the government, civil society and human rights institutions, as well as the international partners of Georgia, in our joint efforts to promote the respect for human rights and achieve just, peaceful and sustainable development for all,” said Shombi Sharp, Acting Head of UNDP in Georgia. The research “Human Rights and Access to Justice in Georgia: Public Perceptions and Awareness” is based on the results of 5,000 face-to-face interviews in four regions of Georgia, 14 focus group discussions and 29 in-depth interviews with representatives of four target groups: public sector, business, non-governmental organizations and the LGBT community. Wherever possible, the results are compared with the findings of the previous study commissioned by the UNDP in 2012.

Training Workshop Held in Adjara: How to Develop a Marketing Plan for Festivals


he British Council has been working for some time in successful partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of the Adjara Autonomous Republic in Georgia, within the signed collaboration memorandum. Most recently, that cooperation developed into a new project. From 25 to 28 July, the British Council organized a training ‘How to Develop a Marketing Plan for Festivals’ conducted by the British Arts Marketing Trainer Owen Mcnair, representative of FEI-Festivals and Events International, a marketing and development professional with a “successful track record delivering short-term results and longterm sustainability in the Arts & Culture through strategic planning, training and mentoring”. This is the second training for the festival professionals in Adjara, like the first providing delegates with the knowledge, understanding and a practical framework necessary to enable them to write a festival and event management plan. During the workshop, the participants discussed the aim and benefits of developing a marketing plan; who the audiences are; what they want and how to increase

their number based on targeting and segmentation of audiences and needs analysis. Special focus was placed on targets and pricing, marketing toolkits, resources and campaign planning, monitoring and evaluation. Georgian festivals professionals were also given the opportunity to explore the experiences, achievements and challenges of UK festivals, making comparisons with their own experiences and share their achievements with the trainers from the UK and one another while taking on board useful experience from the UK experts. “We are delighted to share the best UK experience with the festival professionals involved in our project, said Zaza Purtseladze, Director, British Council in Georgia. “Marketing is one of the key areas for the success of the festivals currently run in the Adjara region”. The British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Using the UK’s cultural resources, it aims to make a positive contribution to the countries it works with – “changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust”.


GEORGIA TODAY JULY 28 - 31, 2017


TBC Bank's 'Startuper' Finances Start-Ups with GEL 2 mln


he results of the first five months of TBC Bank’s Startuper project were announced this week, seeing 50 start-uppers having used the special loan and GEL 2 million issued in support of their new businesses. The start-ups participating in the program operate in various industries, among them construction, production of footwear and clothes, agriculture, tourism, transportation and logistics, health and technologies. Apart from the start-up loan, a special package of banking products, startupleasing and a startup-card (joint card of Socar Petrolium and TBC Bank, that offers a 15 Tetri discount on fuel) were created within the program. Emerging businesses get special rates for these products. In these five months, the Startuper banking products package has been used by up to 6000 start-up companies, and the start-up energy card by about 200.

The non-financial activities of the program are also popular with the startupers, and around 300 of them have attended the special training programs and master-classes led by professionals from various fields, aimed at supporting the improvement of their business management skills. Another non-financial initiative is media-support for the Startupers, which aims at promoting their businesses. Media partners of the program: Ambebi. ge, Bpn, ge, Marketer.ge and News.ge have written articles and interviews, while the special rubric ‘Startuper’ on the ‘Business Morning’ program has already introduced 170 companies and their founders to society. Innovations are constantly introduced for the Startupers and many initiatives and projects are set to be implemented in the near future. Detailed information about the TBC’s Startuper program can be found at www. startuperi.ge

New IFC Partnership in Georgia to Georgian Mountains Help Save Water, Conserve Power Wine Company


eorgian Mountains Wine Company was founded in 2017 and produces the highest quality pitcher and sweet wine. There are two types of pitcher wine: "Rkatsiteli” and "Saperavi,” while the sweet wine is "RN Sweet Red" made of late vintage Saperavi. Rkatsiteli comes from the Kakheti region micro zones, in particular from Argokhi, Akhmeta. It is especially prepared by our company and bottled in limited edition. You’ll find in it a balanced, cool taste and a heady smell which merges with its unique gold color.


FC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to help the Georgian Water and Power (gwp) company, a leading supplier of water in Georgia, conserve resources and become more energy efficient, improving its competitiveness and environmental performance. With IFC’s advice, gwp will benchmark its energy consumption against global and regional peers, and identify opportunities to save water, lower energy costs, and increase efficiency. The partnership is the first advisory engagement of IFC’s Europe and Central Asia Energy and Water Solutions for Corporates advisory program in Georgia, part of a larger effort by IFC to combat climate change, safeguard the environment, and help companies improve their bottom lines. “At GWP, we are always looking for ways tobothprotecttheenvironmentandbecome more efficient,” said Giorgi Tskhadadze, CEO of gwp. “With IFC’s support, we hope

to identify measures to further increase the efficiency of our water supply operations, minimizeenergyconsumption,andimprove the quality of our services to customers, businesses and households.” Georgia is aiming to reduce its energy use by 17 percent by 2030 while maintaining GDP growth at over 5 percent, which will require significant energy efficiency improvements across the economy. IFC’s new program promotes investment in energy and water efficiency, helping companies and municipalities across the region become more productive and competitive. “IFC’s global experience working with more than 50 water utilities in over 20 countries demonstrates that using energy more efficiently is a win-win, both for business and the environment,” said Milagros Rivas Saiz, IFC Global Head of Advisory. “It can help reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent and water losses by as much as 80 percent.”

Saperavi, which is also from Kakheti micro zones- in particular from Eniseli, Kvareli, is made in oak wood which gives it the desired aroma and allows it to be a balanced classical pitcher wine with European taste features. The RN Sweet Red, a late vintage Saperavi, offers a natural sweetness and viscous volume which leaves a sense of autumn. It is characterized by a pomegranate color and ripe berry aroma. Taste the best wine! Call +995 514 12 22 99; +995 597 122 277 Facebook: @georgianmountainswinecompany E-mail: info@gmwine.ge

Climate change remains a strategic priority for IFC. To date, IFC has invested $15.3 billion in long-term financing for renewable power, energy efficiency, climate smart agribusiness, green buildings, and smart cities, and mobilized $10.1 billion of capital from other investors into climate business. Georgia became an IFC member in 1995. Since then, IFC has committed around $1.6 billion in long-term financing, of which $774 million was mobilized from partners. That financing has supported 59 projects in the financial services, agribusiness, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors. In addition, IFC has supported more than $331 million in trade through its trade finance program, and implemented a number of advisory projects focused on developing the private sector in Georgia. In fiscal year 2016, IFC invested almost $19 billion in developing countries worldwide.

10 Galaktion Street

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




JULY 28 - 31, 2017

Back to the Grind: Etseri frost line, a concept little heard of in warmer climes such as Samegrelo. These pipes will be insulated with their own foam sleeves, further wrapped with fiberglass “wool” to keep them snug near the problem area, the house. That 1000 liter plastic tank I have? Time to press it back into service as well! We had just had the garage floor finished with truckloads of rock, gravel, and a top layer of cement, so the tank can go nicely in there, along with a separate pump for good pressure on each floor. It turned into an engineering feat, all by hand. Bypasses, water inside and out, upstairs and down, thinking of every possible contingency and our bitter experiences in dealing with them or not being able to. So much hand-heat-welding of plastic pipes into… more than three dimensions, or do my eyes deceive me? Digging, talking, re-iterating, rethinking. They’re still working as I write, but their guarantee stands with what they do, so, come winter, we HOPE we won’t have to call them in disappointment and rage and desperation. The tank filled in a neat hour, so (quick calculation) that means 16.67 liters per minute of flow, without the pumps, an interesting fact to know. We expect everything will be fine, as it needs to be. There are five bathrooms and two kitchens in the guest house, after all…



ow would you like to return from fabled, fairytale-chimneyed Cappadocia to the severe mountains of Svaneti, dear reader? The aforementioned hot air balloon? Nice and quiet, peaceful. But also both expensive, starting at US$100/ hour, and unpredictable for direction, dependent on the wind. Small or large plane? There’s nothing not going through either Ankara or Istanbul, far out of our way, and flights to Mestia itself can be so weather-capricious too, if there are any clouds en route! Train, as far as it’ll go? The high-speed network Turkey’s working on will eventually get that far east, but it’s not there yet, though the Kars-Akhalkalaki Tr-Ge rail link should be active by now for the first time in history. We chose bus to Hopa, at the border, through the night but managed some sleep; and another bus from the other side to Batumi, where our car was waiting. A night with friends there, then home through Zugdidi, loading up with shopping for our village shop on the way. And… soon after our return, it was time to focus our attention on the house’s ailing water system, while we have good summer weather. We need to overhaul the whole thing, after several painful years trying this and that to cope instead of flourishing. No more winter freeze, please! I brought three highly recommended repairmen from near Zugdidi, and Lali and I discussed our list of needs with

them. This was quite a complicated process. The water reaches the house, even upstairs, by its own pressure from about 160 meters uphill. BUT it freezes at the house first, sometimes even if we leave a tap running full bore through the winter night, as people here do! Then the freeze backs up to the starting point, and

the pipe stays frozen from some time in December or January until… April. We’d prefer not to rely on electricity as it’s both variable in voltage, and unreliable for being there at all, more so in the winter when water would need it most. But… we can buy a voltage regulator for water pumps, and we do have a

petrol-powered generator, seldom used but certainly available, for when the electricity’s gone altogether. The pipes we turn to next. These will be insulated ones, joined together in 4m lengths, for the whole length of the pipe run if necessary. Dug deeper into the ground, below the actual, real, existing

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 1500 members, at www.facebook.com/groups/SvanetiRenaissance/

HUGO BOSS in Georgia as Irish linen, cashmere and Italian wool. These exclusive pieces are then produced at our Headquarters in Metzingen, Germany.



EORGIA TODAY met Jesper Gustafsson, Director International Markets and Wholesale Switzerland HUGO BOSS to find out more about BOSS representation in Georgia and the region.

WHAT IS BOSS’ SECRET FOR HAVING BEEN CONSTANTLY TRENDY AND A MARKET LEADER SINCE 1985? BOSS stands for high quality and never compromises on this. Our brand keeps up with the times but always stays loyal to our classical and sharp DNA. The BOSS core values – refined tailoring and attention to detail - helped us to create a very strong brand image in our segment that is trustworthy for our clients.


HOW MANY STORES DOES BOSS OPERATE IN THE CAUCASUS REGION? We are very interested in preserving and expanding our market share in Eastern Europe, and Georgia is an important market within this region. The BOSS brand is well represented in the Caucasus region- we have stores in Armenia, Azerbaijan and we have two points of sale in Georgia: Tbilisi and Batumi.

WHAT KINDS OF TEXTURE AND MATERIAL ARE USED TO TAILOR BOSS EXCLUSIVE CLOTHING? WHERE ARE THE MAJORITY OF BOSS CLOTHES TAILORED? Textures and materials can change from one collection to another, however, for our BOSS Made to Measure Menswear collection, we only work with the finest fabrics. The client has a choice of 250 different fabrics, such

store concept that you can see in all major cities of the world and which is created to provide the customer with an exclusive shopping experience. The collection varies from one country to another, depending on the climate and tastes of the local clientele, but all BOSS Stores feature our key looks of the season through which we communicate and make a statement about our vision of the fashion and style. These looks unify all the free-standing BOSS stores.


GEORGIA TODAY JULY 28 - 31, 2017

Dance in School International Project Presentation Held at Rustavi Theater



he presentation of the international ‘Dance in School’ project was held in the Rustavi Municipal Theater on July 25, within the frames of the Germany-Georgia Year. The project was introduced by Christopher Fronzek, Cultural Attache of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Sascha Fabri, Deputy Director of the Goethe Institute, Tbilisi. The presentation was attended by the heads of the project, An Boekman, Elia Patrizi, and Liza Regehr- members of the well-known Berlin Sasha Waltz’s Contemporary Dance Company- and the TanzZeit project. As a part of the presentation, a 20 minute contemporary dance performance by Patrizi, Boekman and Reger was shown, based on the four elements of fire, water, air and earth. School pupils and teachers from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia participated. Dance in School is an innovative project of Goethe Institute with students from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia involved. The project, running for the first time this year, entails German language learning in German schools through a new method and an innovative, interdisciplinary approach, which passes the traditional method of German language learning and adds dance and movement elements. Through this new method, it is believed that interdisciplinary methodological competences are being strengthened, believed to be an effective way to improve the quality of the language learning process. The project consists of three stages. The first stage was an international summer camp organized at the international scout camp in the town of Rustavi (Balanchivadze Str. 19) from July 16 to July 26, gathering 32 students from eight schools and 16 teachers from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. The choreographers from TanzZeit worked with this group, explaining how movement and dance, music and rhythm structures our everyday life, making it diverse and enriched; how the communication can be established through

dance and movement while learning German as a foreign language. With this new method, the Georgian teachers learn how to make joint projects, how to add the elements of dance and movement, to their German language teaching methods. The second stage consists of realizing the project ideas and mastering the interdisciplinary methodological competences after returning from the international summer camp. The school teams will have the chance to make a small performance and dance projects in their schools. This way, the students will get back to the themes learned through the dance and movement sessions and to extend these themes further in their German language classes. The third part of the project consists of a workshop and presentation to be held in Tbilisi, in which Gori, Zugdidi and Kutaisi German schools are to participate from Georgia, presenting the interdisciplinary projects which link contemporary dance and German language learning. Two works will be selected by the TanzZeit Company and the winners will be invited to the workshop planned for November in Germany. These performances will also be shown in Tbilisi. “This project is special because it unites representatives of four countries, who had no communication language with each other. With this project we worked through body language and dance. This approach is used to open individuals towards learning. We’ve worked at the international, multicultural camp, giving assignments to children like: Make your arms speak to each other, or quarrel with each other. Teachers are as actively involved in the project as the students are. We’re all together in it,” An Boekman, head of the Dance in School project said. “This project was new for me…it is an exceptional method, integrating choreographic elements and movements into German language teaching classes, helping learners to understand various notions more easily,” said Megi Gvasalia, Teacher at Goethe Institute. “The foreign language learning process must not be solely oriented on cognitive skills: it must include psycho-motoral aspectsbody and emotion have to be working

in combination with one another. This dance is part of an alternative method which is called Total Physical Response. A student creates a world or an entire phrase with body language. The first word given by the project organizers at the camp for the children to perform was ‘short circuit’. As the students in the camp were beginners in German, they explained the word through movement. It helped them not only to remember the word, but I saw that they were repeating it after the lesson, as well as repeating the movement itself. Thanks to this method, there is no stress involved in learning the German language and it’s an important nuance. Dance and movement is the most important element here, and German language is a possibility, a tool towards this movement. The study process is much more creative, the motivation is higher and it’s much better than learning words by heart in a locked classroom. Consequently, we’re getting good academic results”. “This is an innovative project and is being realized for the first time involving students and teachers from schools of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia,” said Sascha Fabri, Deputy Director of the Goethe Institute, Tbilisi. “The project theme is a combination of four elements; Fire, Water, Earth and Air, performing them and combining them with the German language. Rustavi Theater is the perfect place to introduce and perform this dance”. A documentary on the Goethe Institute international experimental project Dance in School is to be made, with a screening to be held when the project ends. The Dance in School project is realized under the German-Georgian Year. The Goethe Institute Tbilisi is actively collaborating with the TanzZeit company, established under the patronage of Sasha Waltz back in 2005, introducing a method of language teaching through movement and dance. As a result of a successful cooperation between the Goethe Institute Tbilisi and Sasha Waltz, another project is planned for October 20-21, whereby, during the Mikheil Tumanishvili International Arts Festival Gift, Waltz’s show performance: ‘Continu’ will be held at the Tbilisi Opera House.





JULY 28 - 31, 2017

Literature across Borders: Translating Culture to Build Connections between Georgia & Europe BY TAMAR KHURTSIA


aurence Plazenet, Carl Frode Tiller, Isabelle Wery, Katri Lipson, Daniel Pennac … these are just a handful of the 20 European authors whose works will be translated into Georgian with the support of the European Union's Creative Europe program which supports literary translation and allows Georgian readers to get acquainted with important works of European literature. Leila Kirtadze is Head of Monitoring of Copyright and Translation at Elfi, a Georgian publishing house. “European literature is modestly represented on the Georgian book market compared to English-language works,” she says. “Elfi is one of the publishing houses that won support from Creative Europe in 2016 for literary translations into Georgian, allowing it to translate the works of 10 European authors”. Elfi and another Georgian publisher, Agora, received funding from Creative Europe in 2016 to translate, publish, and promote 20 books in two years. Creative

Europe does not allocate 100% funding, so publishers also need to find some of the money themselves. This opportunity enables the translation of literary works from many European languages into Georgian. The fund aims to support cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, promote the transnational circulation of high quality literary works, and improve access to these literary works so that they can reach new audiences. Elfi has called its project the "First time

in Georgia: 10 EU Literature Prize winners". Within this project, it is translating such novels as 'Encirclement/Innsirkling' by Norwegian writer Carl Frode Tiller, 'God Is My Witness' by Greek author Makis Tsitas, and 'Ice Cream Man' by Finnish writer Katri Lipson. “In the last 20 years, Norwegian literature has never been published, and

only a few books are translated from Greek and Italian. In order to fill the vacuum, Elfi selected the kind of European authors which Georgian society doesn’t know and which will give our readers some ideas about modern European literature and writers,” Kirtadze says. Elfi has been on the market for 20 years. Most of the books it publishes is for children. But the publishing house is convinced that translated literature will be greatly appreciated by Georgian readers.

While selecting authors and works, publishers consider the relevance to the time and the readers' taste. That’s why Finnish author Katri Lipson is one of the 10 authors who will also be translated into Georgian. Dimitri Gogolashvili is the translator working on Katri Lipson’s book Ice Cream Man. “Generally, I select the books I want to translate but in this case, they offered me this author and I got interested. The book is about the most recent history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, where a director sets out to mimic real life by creating a film without a script, where the actors learn the story and their part in it as they go. The picture of the communist era is well illustrated and in this regard, it should be understandable and recognizable for Georgian readers." Mzia Gomelauri is translating The Ski Bum, a novel by Lithuanian-French author Romain Gary, for publishing house Agora, which, among other things, focuses on the translation of French literature. "The translation of Romain Gary is not new to me. I already translated his Promise of Dawn, which is a very important work. If it were not for Agora, he would be completely unknown to Georgians. Gary is a very European author. He is also cosmopolitan, because he has a lot of different roots," Gomelauri says. She was very happy to be offered the chance to translate this work. "He’s a great writer, and writes in various ways so you think it's a different person. It’s very interesting to translate his works, perhaps because two cultures cross here. The main character is American, not French. He expresses himself in a different ways. This sometimes makes it difficult to translate," she admits. The director of Agora, Marina Bala-

vadze, puts quality above all else. "The author should not be lost in translation and we have the right translators, so we can give that guarantee. We have an opportunity to introduce some new translations and we thought, why not, and decided to expand it now and translate books not only from French but also from other languages,” she says. Agora's project was named the "European Literature Mosaic" and covered 10 European writers, including Irish author Donald Ryan's novel The Spinning Heart and Italian author Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees. "There is a great demand for books in Georgia. But as a publisher we wouldn't be able to do anything if it wasn't for programs like 'Support to Literary Translation'. Our publishing house could offer two or three new translations for our readers, but now with the project we can offer 10 new authors. All this helps to

"This program is good because it means a lot of books will be published which wouldn't have been translated otherwise. Also, it is important to understand that you offer work to the translators. The translator's profession has been almost forgotten, in fact, the purpose of this financing is also to raise the translator profile and to make people realize that this is a real profession,” Shengelia told us. While the program means European authors are translated into Georgian, it also means the works of Georgian authors have a chance to be translated into European languages. And Shengelia feels that, for Georgia, joining Creative Europe meant that "Georgian culture was entering the European family”. "The program emphasizes European identity. By joining this program, Georgia has taken a very important step. Georgia has great creative potential and

increase the cultural level in the country. I’m very glad that Georgia is doing its best to be involved in this program,” Balavadze adds. A publisher can apply for support for a project involving the translation, production and promotion of 10 works of fiction. Eligible costs include the translation, production and promotion of European literature. A publisher can apply for a grant of up to EUR 100,000 (maximum 50 percent of the eligible costs), and the project must be delivered over a maximum of two years. According to Kati Shengelia, head of the program ‘Creative Georgia,’ five applicants applied for funding last year. She hopes the number of applicants and winners will increase in the future.

this potential should be developed," Shengelia says. She adds that there is a lot of enthusiasm among Georgian publishers who are preparing to apply for more funding to translate European authors into Georgian. “In Georgia, there is a hope that there will be more projects like this in the future, so that EU-Georgian cultural connections can become even stronger. The support of the European Union in strengthening these links is very much appreciated”. Article in Georgian: https://frontnews.eu/ news/ge/7954 This article was produced in the framework of the EU Neighbors East project. The views expressed are solely those of the author of the article.

The Sairme 2017 Musical Festival


he Sairme 2017 Musical Festival kicks off on July 29 and is set to run until September 10. Located in Sairme Resort, the project will be of a traditional nature and offer a program that varies from year to year. Ensembles of different genres and soloperformers will participate in the festival, coming to Sairme from different regions of Georgia. The motivation behind setting up the Sairme Music Festival was to turn the region of Imereti into a cultural center and to popularize the Sairme resort zone in such a way as to facilite municipal entrepreneurship. This year, the festival will offer listen-

ers a concert program of Georgian music, featuring such ensembles as: Rustavi, Didgori, Ialoni, Shavnabada, the Kutaisi State Ensemble, Iame, Basiani, Tbilisi and solo-performers Neka Sebiskveradze, Davit Nozadze, Roma Rtskhiladze and Paul Rimple. Next year will see the festival being granted ‘international’ status and foreign performers being invited to participate. Representatives of festivals: “National center of folklore of Georgia” and “Resort Sairme”| Media-supporters are: Radio Holding Fortuna, Imedi, Commercant, Kviris Palitra Program of festival:

29th of July- ensemble “Rustavi” 5th of August –ensemble “Didgori” 12th of August – ensemble “Ialoni” 19th of August – Davit Nozadze and Neka Sebiskveradze 20th of August – Roma Rtskhiladze and Paul Rimple 26th of August – ensemble “Shavnabada” 2th of September – ensemble “Tbilisi’ 9th of September – ensembles “Iame” and “Kutaisi state ensemble” 10th of September- ensemble “Basiani” (Celebratory closure of festival) For additional information call: 0322 40 45 45 591 52 80 80


GEORGIA TODAY JULY 28 - 31, 2017


Do What You Love Best: Tbilisi Boasts ‘Best Nightclub in Artist Noe Ioseliani the World’




oe Ioseliani, born in 1958, is a Georgian painter and iconographer who graduated from the Toidze Georgian Academy of Art and studied at the V. Surikov Moscow State Academy Art Institute. As an iconographer, he has painted some of the most remarkable Orthodox churches in various parts of Georgia, such as the well-known Mother of God Barakoni church in the western province of Racha. In his free time, he works on his series about “Old Georgia,” mostly painting in tempera. He is also developing a different style of art by mixing iconography and Georgian folk art. His works are full of symbolism, offering a kaleidoscope of colors and scenes which makes his works both attractive and refreshing. He is inspired by old Georgia, a fact well-reflected in his paintings. He was influenced in his early childhood when perceiving the many traditions of Georgian people and culture, for example scenes from feasts, known as the Georgian Supra, an important part of social culture, as well as dance and song. “When I was a child, I used to spend time with different kinds of people whom I could observe and learn from,” Ioseliani tells us. “Their hospitability, honesty and great sense of humor gave me so much. I always used to enjoy being with them. Imagine Georgian hosts and guests meeting each other over a Supra table,

n recent years, Georgia has received more and more recognition for its many beautiful landmarks, unique cuisine and delicious and varied wines; not to mention Tbilisi being listed as one of the safest cities to live in the world. But it would seem the list does not stop there as Hostel World listed our very own Bassiani as the world’s number one club, in an article published this week. “Bassiani, the biggest techno club in

finding harmony and love of each other despite their differences. We really had it. All those tiny details encouraged me to feel this deeply in my childhood and to put it into my works, so I could give it new life. ‘Old Georgia’ is what I’m painting now, as best I can”. The people he paints express a kind of staid intelligence, full of love and joy mixed with sadness; people who “can always come together, be it over loss or joy in order to celebrate life,” he says. He adds that his paintings are a reflection of the 19-20th centuries, when Geor-

gian culture reached a peak: great artists such as Pirosmani, and actors such as Ipolite Khvichia and Akaki Kvantaliani are his inspirations, people who are the “geniuses and history of Georgia”. “I have painted since my childhood. I studied in Tbilisi at the Toidze Academy of Art, then in Moscow, but I got most experience working with my friend, iconographer Gia Tetunashvili, though even after ten years with him, I was left with much to learn. Most important is to remember to do what you love and do it with all your heart,” he says.

Tbilisi, is a maze of poured concrete in the basement of Dinamo Arena, Georgia’s national football stadium. On Saturday mornings, once the sun is up, you can watch smoke drift across the pitch, rising upwards from the party downstairs, where as many as 1,200 people shuffle around an empty swimming pool,” the article reads. The club comes in at Number 1, winning over competitors in Berlin, Kiev, Paris, Tokyo and Ibiza, among others. Read the full article online.

Bassiani club- courtesy of Trip Advisor




JULY 28 - 31, 2017


BLACK SEA ARENA Address: Shekvetili, Adjara August 1 ERISIONI Renewed show program GEORGIAN TREASURE Georgian folk music and dance Start time: 19:00 GABRIADZE THEATER Address: 13 Shavtelis St. Telephone: 2 98 65 93 July 29, 30 MARSHAL DE FANTIE’S DIAMOND Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15, 20 GEL July 28 AUTUMN OF MY SPRING Rezo Gabriadze Directed by Rezo Gabriadze English Subtitles Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10, 15, 20 GEL CINEMA

AMIRANI CINEMA Address: 36 Kostava Str. Telephone: 2 99 99 55 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket price: 5 GEL July 28 – August 3 THE BEGUILED Directed by Sofia Coppola Cast: Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning Genre: Drama Language: English Start time: 19:45 Language: Russian Start time: 17:00, 22:15 Ticket: 10-14 GEL DUNKIRK Directed by Christopher Nolan Cast: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh Genre: Action, Drama, History Language: Russian Start time: 17:00, 19:30, 22:00 Ticket: 10-14 GEL WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

Directed by Matt Reeves Cast: Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama Language: Russian Start time: 14:00 Ticket: 9-10 GEL ATOMIC BLONDE Directed by David Leitch Cast: Sofia Boutella, Charlize Theron, James McAvoy Genre: Action, Mystery, Thriller Language: Russian Start time: 19:45, 22:35 Ticket: 13-14 GEL RUSTAVELI CINEMA Address: 5 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 55 50 00 www.kinoafisha.ge Every Wednesday ticket: 5 GEL July 28 – August 3 ALL EYEZ ON ME Directed by Benny Boom Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham Genre: Biography, Drama, Music Language: Russian Start time: 22:35 Ticket: 13-14 GEL ATOMIC BLONDE (Info Above) Start time: 19:45, 22:35 Ticket: 13-14 GEL MUSEUM



other artifacts representing Sovietera cultural and political repression in Georgia.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS Address: 1 Gudiashvili Str. Telephone: 299 99 09

THE NATIONAL GALLERY Address: 11 Rustaveli Ave. www.museum.ge Telephone: 215 73 00



June 8 – September 11 EXHIBITION CONSTELLATION Artworks by Chinese contemporary artists- Ai Weiwei, Hu Xiaoyuan, Li Shurui, Liu Wei, Lu Pingyuan, Lu Shanchuan, Ma Qiusha, Wang Guangle, Wang Sishun, Wang Yuyang, Xie Molin, Xu Qu, Xu Zhen, Yan Xing, Zhang Ding, Zhang Zhenyu, Zhao Yao and Zhao Zhao.

July 5 - September 11 EXHIBITION OF DAVID SULAKAURI'S ARTWORKS The exhibition features up to 100 works by David Sulakauri and a catalog of his artworks. This is the first wide-scale exhibition of the author dedicated to his 65th anniversary.

VERNISSAGE GALLERY Address: 49 Leselidze Str.

July 11 – August 20 EXHIBITION FIELD OF FLOWERS The name "Field of Flowers" came from the eponymous poem Campo di Fiori by Czesław Miłosz, an honorary citizen of Kedainiai. He wrote it in 1943 in Warsaw during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The exhibition showcases artworks by 14 artists from different countries: Sergey Bratkov (Ukraine), Valery Orlov, The Blue Noses Group, Yury Vassiliev, Alexandra Mitlyanskaya Oleg Kostyuk, Evgeny Umansky (Russia), Hubert Czerepok (Poland), Elisha Flotser (Israel), Mikhail Gulin (Belorussia), Carl Michael von Hausswoldd (Sweden), Ana Riaboshenko (Georgia), Jacob Kirkegaard (Denmark), Ram Katzir (Israel, Netherlands).

BLACK SEA JAZZ BATUMI 2017 www.tbilisijazz.com

MUSEUM OF SOVIET OCCUPATION Address: 4 Rustaveli Ave. Telephone: 2 99 80 22, 2 93 48 21 www.museum.ge PERMANENT EXHIBITION Discover the State's personal files of "subversive" Georgian public figures, orders to shoot or exile, and

July 15-25 Tamuna Melikishvili’s Exhibition DAGNY’S CAUCASIAN HOLIDAYS MUSIC

Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 100-1000 GEL July 28 JAMIROQUAI Venue: Batumi Tennis Club July 29 DE LA SOUL Venue: Batumi Tennis Club July 30 JOSS STONE Venue: Batumi Tennis Club July 31 MF ROBOTS Venue: Club Take5 Start time: 23:00 GEM FEST 2017 July 14 – August 14 https://gemfestival.com Start time: 9:00 – 12:00 Tickets: Opening Pass: 60 GEL, 3-Day Pass: 120 GEL, Week Multi Pass: 170 GEL, Multi Pass: 500 GEL, VIP Pass 2000 GEL.

Now into its third year, GEM Fest, a month-long electronic music festival, will be kick-starting Georgia's 2017 summer dance culture. More than 500 artists will perform on 9 stages and there will be more than 100 fun, sports and entertainment activities. Venue: Anaklia July 28 GUSGUS (live) ANTHILL, ANTRO, BAIKAL, COBERT, DMITRIEWSKAYA, KITT ZENGA (live), MANO LE TOUGH, MATTHEIS, NUJI, PASHA, PRASLEA, RARESH, SONIC ENTITY, SPACE Resident DJs, STOJCHETHE DRIF, TERTOLORDAVA, G.VADIM KOCHKIN Start time: 09:00 July 29 SANDER VAN DOORN CHYMERA SPACE RESIDENT DJS Start time: 09:00 Ticket: 100 GEL July 30 MATTHIAS, TANZMANNROGER SANCHEZ ALEK SOLTIROV, ALTERNATIVA, ANTRO, BERO, COBERT, DMITRIEWSKAYA, GIO SHENGELIA, KRISTIJAN MOLNAR, MARKO MILOSAVLJEVI, MAXI STORRS, MILAN SERAFIMOV, SHAM, SPACE Resident DJs, VADIM KOCHKIN Start time: 09:00 July 31 ALEK SOLTIROV, ANGEL ANX, ANTRO, BACHO, DARIA ZET, FLUIDE ONZE, MILAN SERAFIMOV, OSCAR, PASHA, SPACE Resident DJs. Start time: 09:00 August 1 ACHI, AMBAVI (live), DAVID GERMAIN, EMILIO COROLLO, JONES & BROCK, LVN, MichelBE, MIND PROCESS, NUJI, SE IS, SPACE Resident DJs, TOLORDAVA G., VAKO K, YATE. Start time: 09:00 August 2 AXAILES, DONNA BUCKS, , EFIM KERBUTFLUIDE ONZE, FØRSÅKEN, HECTOR COOPER, LUCIA T.APETER SCHUMANN, PETRE INSPIRESCU, RANJIT ARAPURAKAL, SPACE Resident DJs, VAKO K, WOODLOOK Start time: 09:00 August 3 SOLOMUN Line Up: NIKIFOR, LEHAR, SOLOMUN, SPACE Resident DJs, ANUSHKA Start time: 09:00 Ticket: 100 GEL BATUMI STATE MUSICAL CENTER Address: 1 O. Dimitriadis Str. July 29 GELA GURALIA (Tenor altino) Special guest: Lela Tsurtsumia Start time: 20:00 Ticket: From 20-200 GEL CLUB TAKE FIVE Address: Batumi Boulevard July 31 LELA TSURTSUMIA Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 30-40 GEL August 2 DATUNA SIRBILADZE Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 20-30 GEL BLUES FESTIVAL IN LAGODEKHI Address: Lagodekhi, Kakheti July 29 Steve Morrison Start time: 17:00 Ticket: 20-80 GEL


GEORGIA TODAY JULY 28 - 31, 2017

Boosting Tourism through Ballet



he dancers of the State Ballet of Georgia are to run a dance workshop for Georgian locals and foreign visitors to enhance their cultural experiences. Maya Kilani of travel company dUS Travel, approached the State Ballet about her "sustainable and responsible company,” which operates in Georgia and Nepal, some months ago, explaining that she would like to put together a number of very unique experiences for those traveling to Georgia, accessible to both residents and guests. “Dance workshops are becoming extremely popular in the USA and Europe,” Kilani says. “But not so much in Georgia or Nepal yet. Although traditional dance is very popular in both countries, not much is offered besides performance shows. Tourists increasingly want more from their holidaysthey want more flavor, more choices; to try something different. Our differentiation is to offer a lot of off-the-beaten-track experiences besides regular tours. With over 800 programs “à la carte," with trip durations from one day to 5 months, dUS Travel offers experiential and immersive experiences (such as musical troop immersion, agritourism, etc); adventurous / extreme / multi-adventure programs, wellness and healthcare programs, exploratory and unique local expeditions (such as tiger tracking, honey hunting, festival tours, dolphin expeditions, etc., wildlife / ecotourism programs, artistic / creative programs and more. British soloist at the State Ballet of Georgia, William Pratt, then put forward the idea of a holding a Contemporary and Choreography workshop. “The contemporary scene and choreographic scene is very underdeveloped in Georgia,” Pratt says. “But it has potential for growth as there are lots of dancers interested in exploring different ways of moving and there is an audience, as we’ve seen with the success of the contemporary programs of the State Ballet of Georgia and the newly founded Giorgi Aleksidze Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet”. Pratt has experience teaching both classical ballet and contemporary. “He taught with great success at the ballet festival we organized in Japan and he’s to teach the boys at the Vakhtang Chabukiani State Ballet School from the upcoming season,” Dutch soloist Frank van Tongeren told us. “He’s also had experience as a private teacher and at the Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet.” “When I was in Hong Kong, I used to choreograph, but when I came to Tbilisi I was so occupied with performing for the State Ballet and there were no opportunities to choreograph, since the company doesn’t develop its own residential choreographers,” van Tongeren went on. “Developing new work is essential in the international dance scene of today. Even at the big classical ballet companies such as The Royal Ballet they have residential choreographers that create new work for the company,

challenging the dancers to express themselves in very different ways than they might be used to. Towards the end of the season, I suddenly got a strong sense that I needed to start choreographing and soon created a pas de deux for Yonen Takano and Tamta Bakhtadze which they will perform in Fukuoka, Japan, in August, and a solo for a Georgian dancer working in the Boston Ballet, which he’ll perform at a competition in Korea. Because of this, Will thought of asking me to add a choreography workshop to the contemporary classes”. The workshop will run from August 28 until September 1. The creators claim it is a “trial version” to gauge interest and the potential for future workshops. Together with Maya Kilani from dUS Travel, it has already been decided to hold a second workshop in October/November with a performance as a presentation on the last day for which voluntary tickets can be bought from which the income goes straight to the Friends of the Georgian Ballet (a non-profit organization that supports the State Ballet of Georgia and the Vakhtang Chabukiani State Ballet School)- dates to be confirmed. The second workshop will see greater involvement from dUS Travel with regards promoting the workshop, which will probably attract a lot more foreigners traveling to explore Georgia. “The dUS Travel website is set to launch in December, but Maya wants to kick off some of the events/activities before that,” the Van Tongeren says. “The idea is to continue organizing workshops with Maya and from December tourists will be able to put together their own travel packages on the website- for example, book their hotel, workshop and sightseeing activities all on one website”. Kilani says she chose Georgia because, “Georgia is full of treasures and lots of off-the-beaten-track experiences, and the country is becoming wellknown as a premier tourism destination, centered on its unique cultural and natural heritage, and famous tradition of hospitality. People come and love to see dance performances but they also love to try new experiences. Basically, it is a niche with a lot of potential”. dUS Travel has five charity partnerships in Nepal and in Georgia, representing different causes: wildlife conservation, civil war victims, children’s rights, street dogs and arts education. In Georgia, arts education is represented by the Friends of Georgian Ballet.

Georgian Costumes Featured on Google’s We Wear Culture Project

Photo: A Schiaparelli evening coat, courtesy of The Cut



eorgian costumes from Art Palace (Georgian State Museum of Theater, Music, Film and Choreography) now form part of Google’s 'We Wear Culture' project. A virtual collection showcasing Queen Tamar’s ceremonial dress; Georgian “Samaya” dance costumes; Queen Tekle and King Luarsab costumes from the Georgian historic film Giorgi Saakadze; and Keto’s dress from the first Georgian musical movie“Keto and Kote”, are among the 30 unique exhibits featured. Georgia is the first in the Caucasus region to par-

ticipate in the project among the forty countries around the world. “This is the first time ever that Georgian historic costumes, as well as the collection from our museum, have been part of such a big and important project, which means that the Georgian national costume transcends the national level and truly becomes a part of world cultural heritage,” said Giorgi Kalandia, Art Palace Director. Apart from Georgian costume collection, The Google Arts and Culture platform also showcases the works of famous Georgian artists such as Petre Otskheli, Giorgi Gabashvili, Joseb Sumbatashvili, Sergo Kobuladze, David Kakabadze and others, as a part of a virtual tour of the Art Palace museum.

WHERE: State Opera House, Tbilisi, Georgia WHEN: August 28 to September 1, 3pm-4:30pm Contemporary Class, 5pm-6:30pm Choreographic Workshop WHO: The workshop is suitable for students, professionals and dance enthusiasts 13+. Limit of 10 places. PRICE: EUR 200 for the 5-day workshop. 25 percent of the fee for the course will be donated to the Friends of the Georgian Ballet. 25% discount for Students of the Vakhtang Chabukiani State Ballet School For more information and to reserve your place contact: tbilisidance@gmail.com or info@dustravel.com dUS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/infodustravel/



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Profile for Georgia Today

Issue #967  

July 28 - 31, 2017

Issue #967  

July 28 - 31, 2017