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HomeBTA Activities

BTA at the Bristol Harbourside Festival in 2013

July 2013

Written by Wenjing Huang

derek websiteBristol Tbilisi Association volunteers attended the exciting Bristol Harbourside Festival on 27th July, 2013. The location of the BTA’s display stand was in the twinning zone in Cathedral Walk just off Hannover quay.

The BTA Chairman, Derek Pickup, actively introduced Georgian music, artifacts and books. Dressed in a traditional Georgian hat he spoke with hundreds of people about the activities of the BTA and links with Tbilisi. Some of the BTA executive members came to help as well and they gave out the newly-designed postcard at the event, showing a fantastic night scene in Tbilisi.

AlixThe display stand with a colorful banner with images of Tbilisi, attracted many people to the BTA. They learned about the Bristol- Tbilisi link as well as about Georgian cities and Georgian culture. On the day of the event, THE BTA also informed people about the 25th anniversary of the Bristol-Tbilisi twinning, especially the 14th September open day ‘A Taste of Georgia’, which will be held at the Station near Broadmead.

The Harbourside Festival event will help BTA to promote friendship and understanding between the people of Bristol and Tbilisi.





Georgian Choir Iadoni performs at Womad Festival in July 2013

July 2013

by Novvy Allan

DSC02136IADONI (canary, in Georgian) a well known Georgian choir not only sang but cooked in Womad’s fantastic Taste the World tent on Sunday 28th July. The singers, all from Guria province, are mostly quite aged now, and this was the first time any of them had ever been out of Georgia! They were brought over by the Art Gene Group NGO “Union of Art Gene”, whose main aim is to promote Georgia’s traditional folk culture www.artgeni.ge.

Unusually IADONI includes women singers expert in krimanchuli reminiscent of Alpine yodelling and specific to Guria, which we hadn’t heard in Georgian singing before and was amazing. Throughout the performance in front of a packed audience, one of the eldest men stood on the cooking stage and, assisted by one of the women singers, made Chakapuli stew - lamb, onions, coriander, parsley, tkemali (sour plum sauce) and lots of wine - instructing the enthralled onlookers in Georgian at the same time! DSC02147

Taste the World at Womad is the brainchild of Bristol based Annie Menter her idea to extend the experience of different world cultures by sharing cuisines.

After the performance people were invited to sample the Chakapuli washed down with a small glass of delicious Georgian Tsinandali white wine kindly donated by the Bristol Tbilisi Association.

“IADONI ... digging deep into the polyphonic traditions of Georgia that prompted Igor Stravinsky to declare it the music that most affected him in his lifetime”






BTA executive committee member's book launch

 April 2013

2013-04-12 18.46.54 websitecover imageBristol Tbilisi Association executive committee member Anthea Nicholson has written her first novel set in Georgia called “The Banner of The Passing Clouds” . The Banner of the Passing Clouds vividly describes life in Tbilisi and gives an extraordinary insight into living under communism in Georgia. The event went with great Georgian music, food and wine.   2013-04-12 19.07.53 website







2013-04-12 19.37.29 website


Georgian Wine Day - 2012

July 2012

by Bruce Allan

Georgian Wine Day was held on Monday 30th July at the Georgian Olympic House, 45 Millbank beside Tate Britain. It was a memorable occasion. Ambassador Giorgi Badridze, Beka Dvali and Irine Dakhundaridze from the embassy were present together with many guests including Dr. Tamara Dragadze, Keti Kalandadze and Michael Bloom. Novvy and Bruce Allan represented the BTA. Besides wine tasting and delicious food, performers included the famous Georgian choir Shvidkatsa who were followed with very spirited dancing and drumming by young Georgian performers of the Kavkasioni ensemble. Georgian Olympic House also hosted an exhibition of bronze objects that were 3000 years old, the famous painting "Fisherman" by Niko Pirosmani and mechanical figures (dolls) by well-known sculptor Tamar Kvesitadze.

The Kavkasioni Ensemble

The Kavkasioni Ensemble The Kavkasioni Ensemble EnsembleThe Kavkasioni Ensemble DSC00647


Supra Success

January 2011

Alex Hughes

Over 100 people came to the BTA's Georgian banquet on the 14th January. 

IMG 0221 2DSCF0797 newGeorgian wine, not available in Bristol shops was brought by the Ambassador, His Excellency Giorgi Badridze. Ambassador Badridze also acted as Tamada proposing a range of traditional toasts interspersed with comments on the current situation in Georgia. The Bristol Georgian choir sang three sets of traditional songs and HE joined in with the choir on their final number.  BTA chairman Derek Pickup and incoming BTA Hon Sec Esther Pickup-Keller set up a stunning informal exhibition of Georgian artefacts including one of the first ever coins minted in Georgia. Fifteen members of the Newport-Kutaisi Twinning Association attended with their Mayor and Bristol's Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress were also on the top table. It was great to see so many friends of Tbilisi both old and new including former chair Dr Henry Parry, freeman of the city of Tbilisi.     

Read more: Supra Success

BTA Book Launch at Bristol Central Library

DSC 2921July 2010 

Bruce Allan

The Bristol-Tbilisi Association (BTA) is presenting new and classic books about Tbilisi and Georgia to Bristol Central Library. These rare books include titles that look at Stalin's history, while others explore contemporary social issues. The BTA is providing two copies of each title so people can take the books home rather than just using them in the twinning reference section. 

Bristol's Lord Mayor, Colin Smith attended the presentation and there were readings from two of the books, as well as a performance by the Bristol- Georgian Choir. 

pdf small The list of books donated by BTA to the Bristol Central Library.

Read more: BTA Book Launch at Bristol Central Library

Paradjanov comes to Bristol and the Forest of Dean

May 2010  YUR8526

Bruce Allan

The Bristol Tbilisi Association completed a successful partnership with the Paradjanov Festival 2010, the Arnolfini and the Bristol Gallery bringing the works of the great film director Sergei Paradjanov to the people of Bristol. Following a successful festival of his work at the BFI and National Theatre, London, Arnolfini showed his four most significant films during the first two weeks of April. Complementing these the Bristol Gallery showed photographs of Paradjanov taken by his friend, the photographer Yuri Mechitov in the exhibition Paradjanov through the lens of Yuri Mechitov.

Paradjanov was a Georgian of Armenian descent persecuted by the Soviet State for refusing to produce state supported propaganda films. Instead he drew on his love of the region, its myths and legends, to create another way of viewing the world through films and tableaux.

 YUR8570The BTA was privileged to host Levon Grigoryan, filmmaker and author and Paradjanov's assistant on the film The Colour of Pomegranates and Cora Tsereteli, film historian, author and Paradjanov's friend. They gave presentations at two of his films, giving us an insight into how truly radical Paradjanov's work was when it first came out in the 1960s and what it was like to work with a man of such genius.  

Yuri Mechitov returned to the UK in May when the Paradjanov Festival including his photographs were shown at the gallery upstairs at the George at Newnham on Severn in the Forest of Dean. http://upstairsatthegeorge.co.uk/2010/04/03/21-5-10/


Read more: Paradjanov comes to Bristol and the Forest of Dean

Film festival forum at Cube Microplex, Bristol 18.10.2008

October 2008

Letter and photos from Bruce Allan

I am attaching two reports on the festival. Anthea's overview of the  events that took place and a report on the forum day at Cube by James  Norton. I also attach an essay on Georgian cinema by James Norton and  the transcript of Georgian ambassador Gela Charkviani's opening address at the forum. Several Georgian film makers and artists took  part in forum discussions.

Photographs: 1. Georgian Ambassador Gela Charkviani addressing the film festival forum at Cube Microplex, Bristol 18.10.2008 (Photo: Wato Tsereteli);

2. Festival organisers and Georgian guest participants with Christopher Davies, the Lord Mayor of Bristol and his wife at the Mansion House.  (Photo: Alix Hughes) L to R Back row: Colin Evans, Bruce Allan, Zaza Rusadze (director  Bandits), Lasha Bakradze (actor and film historian), Lord Mayor and  wife, Mamuka Japharidze (artist), Wato Tsereteli (artist), Koka Ramishvili (artist). In front: Anthea Nicholson with Nino Anjaparidze (director Tbilisi International Film Festival).


ambassador web At the Mansion House 

pdf smallJames Norton's essay CINEMA AND VIDEO ART FROM GEORGIA 

Read more: Film festival forum at Cube Microplex, Bristol 18.10.2008

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