International festival “Europe-Georgia” opened in Belgium

Georgia: The international festival of culture “Europalia” was officially opened in Belgium, in which Georgian guest country has participated for the first time this year. From October 4 to February 2024, large-scale and varied events will be held in Belgium and its border countries under the auspices of “Europe – Georgia”.

At the official opening of the festival, the King and Queen of Belgium, Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Tea Tsulukiani, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Khatuna Totladze, Chairman of the Committee on Integration with Europe of Georgia Maka Bochorishvili, Ambassador of Emergency and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium Vakh

Head of NATO-SHO Georgia Mission, Ambassador Viktor Dolidze, academician Valeri Asatiani and other invited guests attended.

From the Georgian side, the festival “Europalia – Georgia” is supported by the Georgian government, and from the Belgian side – the festival “Europealia” is a team of professionals.

Guests invited to the opening had the opportunity to see the exhibition “Avant-garde in Georgia – 1900-1936” at Brussels Center for Native Arts (BOZAR), which is held for the first time in Europe and brings together more than 300 exhibitions of 25 artists from museums and private collections. The society also heard Georgian folklore and traditional music at the solo concert of the ensemble “Basiani“.

The festival is a unique opportunity to represent the history and culture of Georgia in the political centre of Europe, especially at the end of the year in the wake of waiting for Georgia to be granted the status of the EU membership candidate.

The International Festival of Culture “Europe” is held every two years and includes cultural and creative events and multidisciplinary and multinational projects that showcase the cultural heritage, traditional, and modern art of guest countries.

For four months, festival guests will have the opportunity to get acquainted with Georgia’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and art. Within the framework of “Europe – Georgia”, up to 60 events will be held in Belgium, Netherlands and France. 

The European Society will attend two exhibitions of national treasures of large scale and historical significance, personal exhibitions of modern Georgian artists, multidisciplinary performances, concerts of traditional, professional and modern electronic music, theatrical performances, literary meetings and a retrospective of Georgian cinema.

Two central, unprecedented large-scale exhibitions of the festival are “Avant-garde in Georgia – 1900-1936” and “Georgia – Meeting Place”.

The first exhibition – “Avant-garde in Georgia – 1900-1936” – was held for the first time in Europe and it was opened on October 4 at the Brussels Center for Native Arts (BOZAR). The exhibition will last until January 14, 2024 and will include up to 300 exhibitions of 25 artists from museums and private collections both in Georgia and abroad.

The second exhibition – “Georgia – the Meeting Place” will be opened on October 27 at the Brussels Museum of History and Art and for four months more than 200 exhibits preserved in Georgian museums will be exhibited. The exhibition reflects the history, culture, art of Georgia from the Neolithic period to the 18th century.

It is noteworthy that the collections of the National and Vani Museums of Georgia will be presented. It is implied that the collections of Kutaisi, Batumi, Onisa and Dmanisi museums will travel beyond Georgian borders for the first time.

The exhibition will also feature four unique pieces related to Georgian art, protected in famous museums of different countries around the world (Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Berlin National Library, Tyrol State Museum).

At the exhibition, we will see the collections of the National Center of Corneli Kekelidze’s Manuscript, the National Archive, the Silk State Museum and Georgian Art Palace.

Modern visual art will be presented at the festival by the works of world-renowned Georgian artists – Karlo Kacharava, Tea Jorjadze, and Andro Vekua. Also, exhibitions of Elene Chantladze and Andro Eradze will be organized.

Traditional, professional and modern music concerts are planned within the festival programme.

Georgian traditional music will be introduced to European listeners by Georgian folklore ensembles: “Didgori”, “Adilei”, “Basiani”, and “Debbi Chamgeliani”.

Gori Women’s Choir, State Chamber Choir of Georgia, Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra and Soloists will perform works of Ioseb Kechakmadze, Alexi Machavariani, Gia Kancheli, Vakhtang Kakhidze, Zviad Bolkvadze, Gogi Chlaidze, Jemal Beglarishvili and will present Georgian professional music-composing art.

Georgian musicians-performers will participate in the festival: Khatia Buniatishvili, Sandro Gegechkori, Tsotne Zedginidze, Liza Batiashvili, Veriko Chumburidze and Mariam Batsashvili.

Georgian and Belgian musicians will perform modern Georgian electronic music at the festival.

Readers will get acquainted with the works of six modern Georgian poets in French and Dutch. Also, the work of Georgian writer Nino Kharatishvili, who came to Germany, will be presented.

“Europalia” will be presented: Rezo Gabriadze’s Marionette Theater, Poti’s Valerian Gunia’s Professional State Theater, Royal District Theater and Georgian National Ballet “Sukhishvili”.

The Georgian cinema retrospective will be held at the festival. The festival program also includes joint projects of Georgian and European artists – choreographic or musical, multidisciplinary performances with the participation of Natia Chikvaidze, Anushka Chkheidze, Tamo Nasidze and other contemporary Georgian artists.

Reminder: The presentation of the “Europe-Georgia” festival program was held on June 14, 2023 in Brussels. The presentation was attended by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia Tea Tsulukiani, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Aja Lahbib, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Khatuna Totladze, Ambassador of Emergency and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, Chairman of “Europe” Philip Vlerik, Cult


“Europe – Georgia” program was prepared by the festival working group and the participants of the festival and the spaces for the events were selected by the representatives of “Europe”. The Ministry of Culture also took an active part in the development of the program.

The festival programme of 2023 “Europalia” can be found at: https://europalia.eu/en/europalia-georgia/programme.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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