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3 thoughts on “TBLPOD30jan2014

  1. A video with footage of former government officials planning a special operation: http://goo.gl/mEM5aM

    Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s comment about the government fund to the Armenian Church, Muslims, Roman Catholics and Jews: “I want to respond to speculation that continues and we hear in media
    as if conflicts on religious grounds became frequent – I want to state
    unequivocally that it is not true. On the contrary we only have
    improvements in this regard and we really have equal respect to
    various religious groups. In testament to this we are today discussing
    a proposal on funding of four religious groups from the state budget
    because these religions were repressed during the Soviet times.”
    “Funding will be allocated from the state budget and proportionally
    distributed among these [four] religious groups in order to provide
    state compensation, because these religions were repressed during the
    Soviet times,” Garibashvili said. “It is unprecedented not only in our
    region, but in Europe. Religious groups usually do not get funding
    from the state budget, but because we really have a fair reason for
    that… This is a very useful and necessary decision, which will further
    contribute to the unity and integration within the society.”

    In his latest annual report NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote that Georgia made good progress in implementing the reforms required to meet NATO standards. The report says Georgia should continue the progress toward civilian and military reform goals as set out in the Annual National Program. Rasmussen also commented that Georgia pledged to make its own forces available for the NATO Response Force in 2015. Link: http://goo.gl/7l7QCc

    Interesting fact: Chairman of the Labor Party Shalva Natelashvili made a European Court of Human Rights case law precedent for disenfranchisement of voters in Khulo and Kobuleti during the 2004 elections. However, they only awarded him 43 euros, the court fee, though his lawyer walked away with 10,000 euros. Apparently Shalvai displayed a “frivolous and irresponsible attitude towards the Court and its proceedings”, which might be why the court found no violation on the other 3 counts and declined to award him compensation. The decision: http://goo.gl/0jdff0

    The MEME this week: Following Paris and New York, “Tbilisi, I Love You” became the next film in Emmanuel Benbihy’s “Cities of Love.” The film is a series of 10 completed short films produced by Dato and Nika Agiashvili through Storyman Pictures — each is a personal narrative about Tbilisi. The official trailer of the movie is online. Link: http://goo.gl/v8dnhu

    An article by Anne Applebaum in Washington Post about Ukraine. According to the author, the events in Kiev are so violent and so contrary to what anyone expected, that they should lead us to abandon the myth of the “color revolutions”: the belief that peaceful demonstrators, aided by a bit of Western media training, will eventually rise up and nonviolently overthrow the corrupt oligarchies that have run most of the post-Soviet sphere since 1991. As the author says: the history of Ukraine, from the 2004 Orange Revolution until now, has proved this false. In fact, corrupt oligarchs, backed by Russian money and Russian political technology, are a lot stronger than anyone expected them to be. The author also highlights that Ukraine’s current political struggle should convince us to abandon another myth as well: the belief that some kind of post-Cold War order still prevails in Europe and the U.S. is an important part of it. Link: http://goo.gl/KAuMbQ

    Misha’s article “Why the West Must Join the Ukraine Protesters” in the Wall Street Journal. According to him the triumph of the Ukrainian protesters would mark the end of Putin’s dream of a restored Russian empire. Their defeat, on the other hand, would mean a huge rollback of European influence and values. He directly blames Putin of being behind the crackdown in Kiev, just as his hand is at work in Bashar al-Assad’s massacres of Syrians and in the Iranian nuclear-weapons program. Misha advises Western governments to sanction Ukrainian leadership and oligarchs and to act resolutely before it is too late. Link: http://goo.gl/WqHwq0

    An article by the hardest working NGO in the Caucasus, TI Georgia about an Interior Ministry officer who is collecting information on the Georgian National Communications Commission. According to TI, Zaza Mazmishvili, nicknamed “The General” by the regulator’s staff, collects information about the agency’s activities and employees. In response to an information request, the GNCC stated that Mazmishvili, who is listed on the staff section of the GNCC’s website, was born on 30 June 1963. Because of this birth date, TI was able to show that Mazmishvili is the same individual who filed a public asset declaration as a head of a Ministry of Internal Affairs division. The GNCC previously rejected a request by TI Georgia to release his CV because he is not a public official. The Ministry repeatedly denied that it has representatives in independent government bodies such as the GNCC or the Georgian Public Broadcaster and referred to TI Georgia’s findings as “not serious”. However, BI publicly admitted this practice still exists and described it as problematic. Link: http://goo.gl/mUNjxE

    An article going way back to 2008 by Noreen Malone in Slate.com titled “Why Are Georgia and Georgia Both Named Georgia?” According to the author, both the country that was formerly part of the USSR and the state in the American Deep South got their present-day names from the British. The name of the country comes from the Russian word Gruzia, which was in turn derived from the Persian and Turkish versions of the name George, Gorj and Gurju. It’s not clear when the Brits started using the word Georgia in place of Gruzia, but scholars believe the switch happened sometime in the late Middle Ages. The American Georgia, on the other hand, was named after King George II of England, who granted the state its charter in 1732. The name George became popular in Western Europe only after the Crusades, when knights traveling to the Holy Land came in contact with the widespread veneration of the saint among the Eastern Christians—in places like Georgia. Meanwhile, the saint’s name derives from Greek and refers to a tiller of land. Link: http://goo.gl/nar8J7

    Till the 4th of February, Baia Gallery will host show a photography exhibit by Mike Bourgault titled “From Surf City to the Caucasus, my journey.” The address is #10 Chardin Street. FB page: http://goo.gl/h6W2ID

    On the 5th of February at 6:15 PM ISET will host the Spring Session of the Works-in-Progress. Beka Kobakhidze from TSU will speak about “The Georgian Question at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.” The session is free and open to the public. The address: #16 Zandukeli St.

    On the 6th of February at 6 PM, the gallery Nectar will host an exhibition of Kat Stadler. The exhibition explores neo-colonialism in its Bakhtinian dialogism between the colonizer and the colonized, the installation addresses the issue of Europeanness both imposed by the west and aimed for by the non-west. The address is #16 Agmashenebeli Ave.

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