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Georgian Artists participated in UpFest 2018 in Bristol

July 2018

by Nina Bendukidze

Upfest 2018, Europe’s largest, free, street art & graffiti festival, attracting over 400 artists painting 50 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville in Bristol took place from 28th to 30th July.  Talented artists travel from 70 countries and across the UK arrived to Bristol to paint live on 60,000sqft of surfaces in front of 50,000 visitors. The affordable art sale, music stages and art workshops round off a visually spectacular weekend. 

Three Tbilisi based artists were selected from 15 Georgian applications to take part in this year's UpFest urban art festival: Dr Love (Bacha Khoperia), Tknaizer (Oto Tsagareishvili) and Tamoonz (Tamuna Tsakhnakia). Tamoonz was invited to paint four collaborative pieces with three other artists in a one hour time frame and her work was later auctioned.

Bristol International Twinning Association (BITA) and its coordinator Alix Hughes organised a meeting at the Hen and Chicken pub, North Str, with street art artists from Bristol twinning cities - Tbilisi (Dr Love), Bordeaux ( Lady JDay) and Hannover (Stefan Hoch)Bristol’s twin city since 1947, set up as part of getting to know our enemies and making friends with them to avoid another conflict. Dr. Love participated in UpFests for third time, Lady Jday, who is currently living and working in New York, came to Bristol for second time and Stefan Hoch for first time.  The one hour session was facilitated by Richard Jones. Richard Jones runs Tangent Books, a Bristol publisher specialising in counter culture. Tangent’s street art titles include Banksy’s Bristol, The Banksy Q, Children Of The Can, and Upfest Vol 1 and Vol 2

Two Street Art Artists from Bristol Andrew Burns Colwill and Rosie McLay were invited during UpFest to participate in the Exhibition "Unity in Diversity. Bristol & Tbilisi: 1988 - 2018" in September - October  in Tbilisi History Museum, organised by Bristol Tbilisi Association to celebrate the 30th anniversary of twinning link between two cities. All three Georgian artists will be taking part in this exhibition as well. 

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Georgian Literary Evening at Waterstones

May 2018

Two authors from Tbilisi came to Bristol to help launch the new "Book of Tbilisi" (Authors Zviad Kvaratskhelia and Bacho Kvirtia) as part of BTA 30th anniversary celebrations. The BTA was working with the Bristol Festival of Ideas to arrange an exciting and stimulating evening.

Where: FoI at Waterstones - Galleries, 11A Union Galleries, Broadmead, Bristol, BS1 3XD
When: 22nd May, 19:00

Zviad KvaratskheliaThe Book of Tbilisi coverIn the 26 years since Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union, the country and its capital, Tbilisi, have endured unimaginable hardships: one coup d’état, two wars with Russia, the curse of organised crime, and prolonged periods of economic depression. Now the Tbilisi has begun to flourish again – drawing hordes of tourists with its eclectic architecture and famous welcoming spirit. Zviad Kvaratskhelia (pictured) and Bacho Kvirtia, two contributors to the short-story collection  The Book of Tbilisi,  offer snapshots of life in their city, reconciling its recent past with its glamourous present.





May 2018


The Poetry Translation Centre and the Bristol Tbilisi Association were delighted to present an evening of poetry and friendship in Georgian and English.

Where: Bristol City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR
When: 21st May, Monday, 7pm

Acclaimed Georgian poets Diana Anphimiadi and Salome Benidze read their work alongside award-winning British poets Jean Sprackland and Helen Mort, before discussing the delicate art of translation with their bridge translator Natalia Bukia-Peters. This event was in English with poetry readings in Georgian and English. 

Diana Anphimiadi is a poet, publicist, linguist and teacher. She has published four collections of poetry: Shokoladi (Chocolate, 2008), Konspecturi Mitologia (Resumé of Mythology, 2009), Alhlokhedvis Traektoria (Trajectory of the Short-Sighted, 2012) and Kulinaria (Personal Cuisine, 2013). Her poetry has received prestigious awards, including first prize in the 2008 Tsero and the Saba Award for best first collection in 2009. She lives in Tbilisi with her husband and young son.

Salome Benidze is a poet, novelist and translator, as well as a campaigner for women's rights. She won the Saba Award for best debut in 2012, which brought her nationwide recognition. She is the author of two collections of poetry and one novel, The City on Water which was a national bestseller and won the Tsinandali Award in 2015. Her works of translation include David Beckham's My Side, Shirin Ebadi's The Golden Cageand Salman Rushdie's Two years, eight months and twenty-eight nights
Jean Sprackland's most recent collection,Sleeping Keys, was published in 2013, and Tilt won the Costa Poetry Award in 2007. She is also author of Strands, the winner of the Portico Prize for Non Fiction. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Chair of the Poetry Archive.
Helen Mort was born in Sheffield. Her first collection Division Streetwon the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. Her collection No Map Could Show Them (Chatto & Windus)  was a PBS Recommended Title. In 2017 she presented Mother Tongue on BBC Radio 4, exploring poetry in translation. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Manchester Writing School.
Natalia Bukia-Peters is a freelance translator, interpreter and teacher of Georgian and Russian. She studied at Tbilisi State Institute of Foreign Languages before moving to New Zealand in 1992, then to Cornwall in 1994.  She is a translator for the Poetry Translation Centre in London and a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and translates a variety of literature, poetry and magazine articles. Her translations in collaboration with writer Victoria Field include short fiction and poetry by contemporary Georgian writers.  Their most recent book is an anthology,  A House with no Doors – Ten Georgian Women Poets (Francis Boutle, 2016)
The Poetry Translation Centre gives the best contemporary poems from Africa, Asia and Latin America a new life in the English language, working with diaspora communities for whom poetry is of great importance. By fostering creative collaborations between poets and translators, the PTC produces high-quality translations that extend the audience for international poetry



Georgian Films Screening, Spring 2018

April/May/June 2018

by Colin Evans

Georgian Films screening started in April and was held at the Community Cinema in Easton, known as The Pickle Factory, All Hallows Road, Bristol, BS5 0HH.

Perhaps the greatest complement we can pay to Georgian cinema is that it isn’t Hollywood! There are no big budgets so no stars, just actors and directors combining to create amazingly effective ensemble scenes that catch the essence of the people and the country. If there is one consistent element it is Georgia itself and in these three films we hope to show the country in all its diversity.


First film shown in April was The Village, director Levan Tutberidze, 2012, 112 minutes. We start in the breath-taking Caucasus mountains. A young Georgian academic takes his British girlfriend with him on a research project to a remote village. They hope to stabilise their shaky relationship but her urban idealism is at odds with the traditions that dominate in an isolated rural community of mostly older people because the younger generation have left for a more progressive life in the cities. The young couple discover that there is a dark side to this world in spite of the idyllic setting.

Salt White, director Keti Machavariani, 2011, 80 minutes, was shown in May.
Set in the Black Sea resort of Batumi, a fine example of post-Soviet bling, this film captures the ennui of a seaside community of drifters. With no particular plot or storyline it is the characters themselves that seek our understanding. The camera does not impose a view or point us in a direction but captures the mood of people uncertain of themselves and of their role in a fast-changing world. The town itself is being ‘developed’ with rich tourists in mind but what impact will this have on people with whom we find ourselves becoming increasingly involved?




April 2018

by Alix Hughes

A public talk by Peter Nasmyth. Peter's writings and photographs about the Caucasus region have been published in most major UK magazines and newspapers. He has also written for several American publications, including the Washington Post. Since his first visit to Georgia in 1987 he has also developed several broadcast projects in the region and been nominated for the UN Media Prize by the BBC.

He has been involved in initiatives to preserve Georgia's heritage buildings especially in the old city area of Tbilisi.

In October 2016 a group of Georgian citizens and one Englishman, established a new National Trust style of organisation in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Under the title of the National Trust of Georgia it was set up in association with the National Trust of Great Britain’s international branch INTO and follows the successful British model.

In October 2017 the Trust took over a unique, unusually unmolested 18th -19th century property in the Metekhi cliffs area of the city, adjoining Avlabari. The property is large enough to act as the Trust’s headquarters on a permanent basis, as well as contain space for exhibitions and events. Like so many properties in Georgia this three story building is in a poor stage of repair, but it will slowly be restored and used as an example for locals as to how building repair can be done cheaply, effectively and with historic sensitivity, on their own homes. There will be an exhibition inside the building illustrating how this is achieved.

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Talk by Tony Anderson: An Edwardian Lady in the Mountains of Georgia

March 2018

by Derek Pickup

In the spring of 1911, Margaret Chambers, intrepid explorer and traveller, decided to mount and expedition to the High Caucasus. One of the first women to be admitted as a fellow to the Royal Geographical Society, she spent many months in Georgia, most of them in the mountains of Svaneti, walking or riding across remote passes with local guides and friends, observing, noting, drawing and painting as shetraveled.All her writing and painting has lain undisturbed and unpublished in the library of the Royal Geographical Society since her death.Tony Anderson and Georgian colleagues are at present working to rectify this. Tony talked about all this. A glass of wine and some nibbles were offerred by BTA at the event 

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Tbilisi-based British author Katie Ruth Davies's Talk

March 2018

by Esther Keller-Pickup

Venue: The City Hall, Lord Mayor's reception Room

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In celebration of 30 years of the Bristol-Tbilisi Twinning Agreement, Tbilisi-based British author Katie Ruth Davies made a special visit to Bristol to talk about what life is like in Bristol's Twin City, Tbilisi. 

Katie, who has lived in Tbilisi for 11 years, talked about her life in Georgia and explored the magic and unique wonders that keep her there. She talked about how the capital city and its people have changed in her time there and gave her outlook for the future. She also was touching briefly on her young adult urban fantasy books and her growing following of fans, introducing to attendees her latest saga set in Tbilisi: Dark Wings. 



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February 2018

by Nina Bendukidze

Saturday, 17th February 2018, Georgian Banquet (Supra) in Bristol, UK. The first big event celebrating 30th Anniversary of the Bristol Tbilisi Association this year. More than 130 people attended. Dr. Razvan Constantinescu, the Honorary Consul of Romania in Bristol, Her Majesty’s Lieutenant in the County of Bristol Mrs Peaches Golding OBE, HE The Georgian Ambassador to the UK Mrs Tamar Beruchashvili, and The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Lesley Alexander also attended the supra. The Supra was accompanied by the Bristol Georgian Choir's amazing performance. This year we've had a very diversified menu thanks to BTA executive committee members Esther Keller-Pickup and Nina Bendukidze.  Georgian white and red wine was donated by BTA chairman Derek Pickup. It was absolutely fabulous evening with a lot of toasts, jokes and mind-blowing music. 

ქართული სუფრა შაბათს, 17 თებერვალს ქალაქ ბრისტოლში. 130 სტუმარი დაესწრო. 2018 წელს ჩვენ ზეიმობთ ბრისტოლ-თბილისის ასოციაციის შექმნის და ჩვენი ქალაქების ძმობის 30-წლისთავს.

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