90th anniversary celebration event with Synetic Theater performance of Host and Guest

Please join the Georgian Association in the USA as we celebrate the Association’s 90th anniversary. On October 2, 2022 – at the 2pm closing matinee showing of Synetic Theater’s acclaimed “Host and Guest”, we will experience an ancient Georgian story of a family who takes in a lost stranger as a guest only to discover he is from an enemy clan, and their valiant efforts to protect him when their village seeks vengeance. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Paata Tsikurishvili and former president of the Georgian Association, Dr. Nino Japaridze, to discuss the cultural significance of Vazha-Pshavela’s “Host and Guest” and the parallels between the piece and Russia’s ongoing aggression against its neighbors. The themes covered in this play continue to reverberate in Georgia’s political narrative and everyday life to this very day.

Tickets for the show can be purchased here. You can use a special 35% discount code using GA90 for any date. Panel discussion attendance at 3:30pm on Sunday is free and separate from attendance of the show, but registration is required and donations are welcome. All donations will be used to support the Georgian Association in the USA.

Trailer for the show can be viewed below

You can also read the review of the performance by Washington Post


Introduction to the History of Georgian Cinema

The Georgian Association in the USA co-sponsored event jointly with the Davis Center’s Program on Georgian Studies at Harvard University, on the history of Georgian Cinema has been cancelled. The Association is working to schedule a separate lecture by Levan Lomjaria at a later date and will provide the updated information as soon as it is scheduled.

In November 1896, just months after appearing in Paris, cinema arrived in Georgia. It became very popular – especially in the independence period (1918-1921), with several Georgian filmmakers producing Georgian movies. After the Soviet takeover in 1921, cinema became a chief method of propaganda. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian cinema sector faced 10-12 years of stagnation during which only a few films were made. In recent years, Georgian cinema has been witnessing an astonishing period of revival. A new generation of filmmakers has emerged who have managed to find a new and strong language of cinema in order to speak with international audiences about contemporary issues of Georgian society. Levan Lomjaria will explore these and other aspects of the history of Georgian cinema in his lecture.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in fall of 2022, the Georgian Association in the USA is an organization committed to the preservation of Georgian culture among members of the Georgian Diaspora in the United States. The Association has been actively supporting music, film and theater events such as the screening of Nana Ekvtimishvili’s film In Bloom and Zaza Urushadze’s film Tangerines in the US.

More events are planned this fall as a part of the celebrations. Sign up for the newsletter to receive updates by email or check the website frequently for announcements. 

Georgian Literature Reading Series

As part of our mission to promote Georgian culture, we were pleased to launch the “Virtual Georgian Literature Reading Series.” The goal of the series is to create an informal and interactive forum for those with an interest in Georgian history and culture to read and discuss important Georgian books, both classic and contemporary.

Summer 2022
Guram Dochanashvili’s The First Garment (სამოსელი პირველი)

We are delighted to announce that the next edition of the “Georgian Literature Reading Series” will discuss Guram Dochanashvili’s novel The First Garment (სამოსელი პირველი). For this edition of our series, the meetings will be conducted in Georgian – though you don’t need to be a native speaker to join us. There will be a total of 4 meetings virtually via Zoom on Saturdays from 10:00am to 11:15am ET on the following dates: July 16, July 30, August 13, and August 27. You can sign up here. 

Meetings will be discussion-based and facilitated by Georgian theater and film director, professor Manana Anasashvili, who is currently teaching this novel at Ilia State University. As before, our goal will be to create an informal/interactive forum that allows the participants to share their thoughts about the book. To help make the digital environment as interactive as it can be, participants will be asked to enable their device’s video functionality and have it on during the meetings. The book can be accessed in Georgian on Saba book app as an e-book — Georgian Association might also be able to assist in accessing a PDF version of the book for those who sign up.  

The deadline to sign up is June 16. You can sign up by clicking here.

— About the Book —
The novel follows a young, inexperienced, adventure-seeking man named Domenico who is deeply affected by the appearance and stories of a mysterious refugee in his village, and thus decides to take his inheritance and leave the village to go on adventuring. In this novel, traditional motifs of good, evil, love, morality, and the like are illuminated in a new light and unfold as a dramatic narrative against a background of an odd merging of humor and aesthetics.

Spring 2022
Mikheil Javakhishvili’s Kvachi Kvachantiradze

The second edition of the series discussed Mikheil Javakhishvili’s classic novel Kvachi Kvachantiradze. Members of the Association’s Board of Directors, Stephen Jones and Valerian Sikhuashvili, led the sessions.

— About the Book —
An epic landmark of Georgian literature, Javakhishvili’s novel was published in 1925, 12 years before its author’s murder in the Stalinist Purges; but given its treatment of the Russian elite, it’s a grim marvel he was able to escape the authorities so long. Kvachi Kvachantiradze is a born conman, a wily and indefatigable survivor—as much a distillation of the Georgian character as a great anti-hero in his own right. Beginning as a charismatic youth on the outskirts of Tbilisi, Kvachi demonstrates a taste for money and a talent for obtaining it, posing as a noble after traveling to Russia to seek his fortune.

— Additional/background Reading —
– Charles King. The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus.
– Stephen Jones. The Making of Modern Georgia, 1918-2012: The First Georgian Republic and Its Successors.
– Stephen Kotkin. Stalin, Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928.

Summer 2020
Nino Haratischvili’s The Eighth Life.

The first edition of the series discussed Nino Haratischvili’s internationally acclaimed novel The Eighth Life. Members of the Association’s Board of Directors, Stephen Jones and Valerian Sikhuashvili, led the sessions. The association will provide complimentary copies of the book to those who are currently undergraduate students.

— About the Book —
At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste… Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the center of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century. Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections.