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HomeBTA Activities

Ambassador of Georgia to the UK H.E. Sophie Katsarava's talk online

July 2021

by Derek Pickup

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The Georgian Ambassador to the UK, Her Excellency Sophiko Katsarava gave a talk "Reflections on a year as the Georgian Ambassador to the UK under Covid and plans for the future" to the BTA covering her first year in Office. The year was difficult because of the Covid virus and the restrictions on face to face meetings and travel. Despite this it was a busy year which resulted with a free trade agreement between the UK and Georgia










Nathan Moss'S ZOOM TALK about his life and making business IN TBILISI

June 2021

by Esther Keller-Pickup

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A Zoom talk by Nathan Moss on Thursday 24 June at 6:00 pm GMT was from the series of monthly talks organised by the Bristol Tbilisi Association for their members and friends during lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Nathan Moss spoke about his move from the UK to Georgia 7 years ago. Nathan grew up in South London and upon finishing school struggled to choose between culinary college and engineering at University. He ended up choosing Engineering and went to The University of the West of England, Bristol. When he returned to London, he worked as a sound and video engineer in live events for several years before moving to Georgia pursuing, after everything, a life in food and drink. 

He first went to Georgia for a week in October 2013 and stayed with John Wurdeman, a classical painter and entrepreneur (food and wine among many ventures), who settled in Georgia in the early 1990s.  Nathan liked his stay very much and moved to Georgia on 25 April 2014 and has never looked back.  He acquired the nickname 'Cider Man' for a while and explained to us what this is all about.  He is an owner of the compamy called Saidanaa. Please look at their product here. Everybody says it is amazing. If you would like to taste it please contact Nathan on Tel: +995 599 19 90 52

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26th May 2021 - thirtieth anniversary of Georgian Independence from the Soviet Union

May 2021

by Derek Pickup and Alix Hughes

This year is the thirtieth anniversary of Georgian Independence from the Soviet Union and the Lord Mayor Cllr Steve Smith has agreed to raise the Georgian flag in front of City Hall on Wednesday 26th May at 11.00am. There are 30 people allowed to be at the ceremony, so members of the BTA were invited to attend if they can. The BTA chairman has been presenting the Lord Mayor with a new Georgian flag and a copy of Tony Anderson's book “ Bread and Ashes”.  

Special guests were Lord Mayor Cllr Steve Smith, Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding and High Sheriff Sue Davies as well as Ms Lana Achelashvili, Chevening scholar from Tbilisi and Honorary Georgian Consul and the BTA chairman Alderman Derek Pickup. Also attending members and supporters of the Bristol Tbilisi Association. The event was filmed for Georgian TV and the Embassy in London.

Georgian flag raising 2Georgian flag raising 1 Georgian flag raising 4

Photos - credit BCC International Team. 



Peter Nasmyth's Zoom Talk 'Heritage and Lockdown; a Winter in Tbilisi.'

May 2021

by Esther Keller-Pickup 

A Zoom talk by Peter Nasmyth on Tuesday 25 May at 6:00 pm GMT was from the series of monthly talks organised by the Bristol Tbilisi Association for their members and friends during lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The title of the presentation was: 'Heritage and Lockdown; a Winter in Tbilisi.' The talk was about the latest from the National Trust of Georgia, and how Georgians dealt with, at one time, the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the world. Peter has recently returned to the UK after spending several months in lockdown in Georgia and gave a fascinating insight into life in Georgia during the pandemic and an update in how the National Trust of Georgia is continuing to develop despite the pandemic. 

Peter Nasmyth is a writer, photographer and former arts journalist published in most major UK magazines and newspapers, along with American publications such as the Washington Post. He has lived between Tbilisi and London for more than thirty years and co-founded the first English language bookshop, Prospero, in Tbilisi. 'Georgia: in the Mountains of Poetry' is probably his most well known book which if you haven’t read it already, put it on your book list. 

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ONLINE TALK - Fatima Hudoon "The Queen's Gambit: how one Georgian woman conquered the chess world”

March 2021

by Esther Keller-Pickup and Alix Hughes

As a contribution to International Women’s Day 2021, The Bristol Tbilisi Association proudly presented:  “The Queen's Gambit: how one Georgian woman conquered the chess world”

The Netflix hit series “The Queen’s Gambit” followed the rise of a young female chess prodigy and caused an unexpected chess boom. While the series is fictional, the story of this amazing Georgian woman isn’t. The five-time Women’s World Chess Champion, Nona Gaprindashvili, became an icon: the world’s first female Grandmaster - the highest title awarded to chess players. Nona will join us for this event from her home in Tbilisi, a city twinned with Bristol for over three decades.

As part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day, Bristol journalist Fatima Hudoon tells the story of Nona’s chess career and legacy touching on chess culture in the now-former Soviet country of Georgia. It will then be followed by a Q&A with Nona who at the age 79 still makes moves on the board. 

Speaker: Fatima Hudoon is a Bristol journalist whose work features in the local media cooperative, The Bristol Cable, and elsewhere. A chess enthusiast herself, Fatima recently wrote a Calvert Journal article on Georgian chess queen, Nona Gaprindashvili, who was mentioned in the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

Nona Gaprindashvili Cup FIDE


The event was introduced by Derek Pickup, Chair of the Bristol-Tbilisi Association.

People from Georgia, UK, Czech Republic and USA took part in the Zoom conference, including Ambassador of Georgia to the UK H.E. Sophie Katsarava. Nona Gaprindashvili also presented. It was a big honor to have her as a guest.  She answered many questions during the event. Her grandson "worked" as an interprener. 











Meeting with a new Ambassador of Georgia to the UK in Bristol

October 2020

by Alix Hughes

The Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, BITA and BTA members meet a new Ambassador of Georgia to the UK Sophie Katsarava,  MBE and her team in Bristol

Ambassador Katsarava and Mayor Rees 1Ambassador K with Lana Achelashvili Chevening scholar at Univ Bristol in front of Brunel House student residence webAmbassador K meeting Richard Warren Encounters Film Festival director Richard Jones Bristol Festival of Literature director with Ana Nozadze Cultural attache at the Georgian Embassy in London webAmbassador Katsarava with Jon Finch head of culture including museums at Bristol City Council webAmbassador K with Mayor Rees in front of the Georgian flag at city hall webAmbassador Katsarava and Mayor Rees 2












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Bristol Festival of Literature hosted three of Georgia’s leading writers.

October 2020

by Nina Bendukidze and Alix Hughes

Georgia is the first country partner of the Bristol Festival of Literature.  Georgia Calling was focused on literature in the post-Soviet era. These were peculiar times for Georgia in general and for Georgian literature in particular. The economy collapsed and publishing was utterly impossible. Yet new translations somehow began to appear of authors who were unavailable in Soviet times. It was as if Georgian literature was trying to catch up with everything it had missed in the previous 70 years.

Richard Jones from Tangent Books has explored Georgia’s fascinating literary landscape with three guests before opening the event to questions…

Free Zoom event on Saturday Oct 24 at 6pm

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Richard JonesPublisher, Tangent Books 5.16 Paintworks, Bristol BS4 3EH, Bristol Festival of Literature organiser
Davit Gabunia is a Georgian translator, award-winning playwright, and author. His debut novel, Falling Apart, was published i2017 and became a best-seller in Georgia. It has since been translated into German. Inside Georgia, Gabunia is also known for having translated the Harry Potter series of novels, as well as for being an outspoken pro-Europeanist.
Aka Morchiladze is the pen name of Giorgi Akhvlediani, a Georgian writer and literary historian who is one of the key figures in the birth of new Georgian literature and who has written some of the best-selling prose in the post-Soviet era. Morchiladze's work is rooted in the re-orientation of early 21st-century Georgian literature towards Western influences.
Eka Kevanishvili is a poet and journalist with a particular interest in internal politics, social and healthcare issues and human rights. Eka has written six books – four poetry collections, one volume of short stories plus a collection of essays and interviews.
The fascinating and inspiring Georgia Calling event has been recorded: the password needs typing in rather than cut and paste but try both


Passcode:   Ys21Z&*$

Take a look at the recording of the event on the Tangent Books podcast on YouTube 022 pointer 512 Georgia Calling - YouTube



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