Tblisi - program

JUNE 16, THURSDAY 
16:15 – 17:00
-  Practices of Intercultural Dialogue: Caucasian House, Presentation by Naira Gelashvili, Director 

Cultural Relations Center of Georgia 'Caucasian House' is an educational and peace-making non-profit organization. The mission of the organization is preserving the cultural and natural heritages of Georgia and South Caucasus, supporting cultural integration and co-operation among Caucasian nations, implementing conditions for peaceful co-existence of all cultures. The activities of the Caucasian House focus especially on promoting and advocating the human rights, religious and ethnic tolerance. The Caucasian House is located in the 19th century building, owned once by the Smirnov's family, which since the 19th century has been an important center of Georgian cultural life. 


Opening of the exhibit: Caucasian House 
The exhibition gathers works of artists who represent various nationalities of Georgia and was prepared by the Caucasian House. 

17:15 – 18.00 - Introduction to the Dialogue, Krzysztof Czyżewski, Borderland Foundation President 
Why 'intercultural dialogue'? Why in relation to Caucasus, and why not only to Caucasus? Why is it culture that matters? Why is practice not enough and why do we need some reflection as well? Why won’t the end of three-day seminar be not actually the end of our efforts, and what will be our aims after? 

18:15 – 19:30 - Dinner 
20:00 – 21:00 - Visit to the ‘Arci’ Studio, Gia Abuladze, architector, Arci’, Studio 
The projects of ‘the ‘Arci’ Studio aimed at revival of the historical centre of Tbilisi and its former agora - the central square called 'Maidan' 

JUNE 17, FRIDAY  
9:30 – 11:30
- Reflection on Intercultural Dialogue Part 1 
Cultural diversity, multi-ethnicity, religious and other social divisions in post-colonial and post-totalitarian countries. Multicultural society and democracy. 

Chair: Krzysztof Czyżewski, practitioner of ideas, Borderland Foundation President 
Speakers: Levan Berdzenishvili, head of the Republican, Party of Georgia, MP 

Georgia's traditions of tolerance and situations of its violation. To what extent the attitudes of today’s Georgians are determined by the communist legacy? Intercultural dialogue and building of an open society in Georgia. Disintegration of Georgia's society and means of overcoming the crisis. 

Neal Ascherson, traveler and writer, author of the book Black Sea 

The problems of institutionalized multiculturalism, and the way in which the grant of group rights to minorities tends to enfranchise the most traditional (and reactionary) elements within a group. Why do multicultural communities tend to break up after the experience of 'liberation' from external constraint. Were old multicultural communities able to live together in tolerance only because they were ruled by non-democratic superior force? Does multiparty democracy, arriving as a new force, often divide people along ethnic lines rather than conventional democratic lines of class or world view? 

11:30 – 12:00 - Coffee break 
12:00 – 13:30 - Reflection on Intercultural Dialogue – Part 2 

Religion and/vs. intercultural dialogue. Islam and Orthodoxy towards the Other.Religious renaissance in the post-Soviet region: a threat of fundamentalism or a wasted opportunity to build open societies? 

Chair: Krzysztof Czyżewski 
Speakers: Stanisław Zapaśnik, Professor of Sociology, Warsaw University 

Traditions of tolerance in local Muslim communities in Central Asia. Different aspects of religious fundamentalism and their significance for intercultural dialogue. Chances and obstacles in building the bridges between a Muslim mahala and modernism and a neighboring Other. 

Father Basili Kobakhidze, Georgian Orthodox Church 

Georgian Orthodox Church in a process of changing multicultural society. Orthodox Church priests’ attitude towards other religions and intercultural dialogue. Who deserves to be called a Pontifex today and what values the Pontifex is guided by? 

13:30 – 14:30 - Lunch 
14:30 – 16:00 - Practices of Intercultural Dialogue – Workshop part 1 
Presentation by François Matarasso, cultural animator and writer, a leader of the Living Heritage program in Southeast Europe 

Living Heritage program builds upon an innovative approach to heritage and its interaction with local communities. Beyond traditional typologies, heritage is to be understood here as a resource, a form of social capital which may contribute to the environment and quality of life of local communities. 

16:00 - 16:30 - Coffee break 
16:30 - 18:00 - Practices of Intercultural Dialogue – Workshop part 2 

Short presentations of the projects and programs being implemented or planned to be implemented by the participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. 

Moderators: François Matarasso, Jahangir Selimkhanov 

18:00 - 19:00 - Dinner 
19:30 - 22:30 - FILM 'Alias Kurban Said' by Jos de Potter (English subtitles, time:70 min.) 

The document by Jos de Putter explores an enigma of the 1937 cult novel 'Ali and Nino.’ The novel is a love-story based in early 20th century Baku, with an Azerbaijani boy and a Georgian girl as the central characters, and has been recently discovered as “Romeo and Juliet of the Caucasus.” But the true identity of the author, who published the book under the pseudonym 'Kurban Said,' still remains unknown. Jos de Potter travels from Azerbaijan to Austria and to the U.S.A., searching for a cue to the Kurban Said mystery in archival documents and in people's memories. 

'A Prayer' by Tengiz Abuladze (Russian voice, time: 77 min.) 
Introduction by Nana Janelidze 

Inspired by the output of the famous Georgian poet Vazha Pshavela (real name Luka Pavlovich Razikashvili, who lived between 1861-1915), in his 'A Prayer' of 1967, Abuladze undertakes a universal topic of relations between an artist and the world, and explores a mystery of a poetic creation process. Pshavela's real biography and the world of his poems intermingle, his heroes start to live their own life and judge their master. 


JUNE 18, SATURDAY  
9:30 – 11:30
- Reflection on Intercultural Dialogue – Part 3 

What is the role of the memory and the legacy of the past for intercultural dialogue? Do the contemporary (to various extent) democratic countries of the South Caucasus have the tools and enjoy the opportunities to build the ties among their diverse communities, like those provided once by Christian civilization in Armenia and Georgia, or by Islam civilization in Azerbaijan? 

Chair: Levan Khetaguri, vice-rector of the Shota Rustaveli State University of Theatre and Film 

Speakers: Niyazi Mehdi, Professor of Philosophy at the Baku State University 

Philosophy of crisis in the context of intercultural dialogue: the case of the Azerbaijani modernism. Could tradition and symbols taken from different cultures heal the malady nurturing multiethnic society today? Could Christianity of the Georgians and the Armenians be read through Islam of the Azerbaijanis – and vice-versa? 

Harutyun Marutyan, Senior Researcher of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Science of Armenia Historical memory in intercultural dialogue – chances and obstacles. The role of historical memory in the process of liberation from the communist regime and in building an independent State that aspires to independence and to build an open society. 

11:30 – 12:00 - Coffee break 
12:00 – 13:30 - Reflection on Intercultural Dialogue – Part 4 

Borderland regions in Georgia, their peculiarities and the current situation. Opportunities and chances for intercultural dialogue programs’ implementation in these regions. What model of a center for intercultural practices would be the most effective and desirable? Which regional traditions, preserved in traditional culture, in a local community ethos and in a spiritual culture, should be recalled by intercultural dialogue animators? 

Chair: Lasha Bakradze, journalist and historian 

Speakers: Marina Elbaqidze, expert of the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development 
Olga Dorokhina, South Caucasus Institute of Regional Security, co-ordinator Zaliko Kikodze, ethnographer, photographer and traveler 

13:30 – 14:30 - Lunch 
14:30 – 16:00 - Practices of Intercultural Dialogue – workshop part 3

Presentation by Krzysztof Czyżewski, Borderland Center Director 

Center for intercultural dialogue practices: a modern center of open society. Educational, arts, cultural heritage, and research programs. Working with youth, local authorities, national minorities, and with a community burdened with a trauma of ethnic and religious conflicts and other crisis situations. Laboratory of 'positivist' cultural activities, immersed in a “long-durée” process. 

16:00 – 16:30 - Coffee break 
16:30 – 18:00 - Practices of Intercultural Dialogue – Workshop part 4

Presentation by Tone Bringa, anthropologist and the senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, Norway Anthropologist's work in a Bosnian village, inhabited by the Muslims and the Croats. By the means of, among other, documentary filming, Tone Bringa explores the sources and mechanisms of the conflict between the neighbors and, in the next step, is a witness and animator of the villagers’ efforts aimed at reconstructing of the mutual relations between people, which go beyond the national divisions. 

Film: ‘We Are All Neighbours’, by Tone Bringa                                      

The main thrust of this film is to highlight the bonds of solidarity that have grown up between Muslim returnees and the Croat DPs, which are reinforced through coffee hospitality and expressions of good will through the stressing of common values that transcend religious and ethnic differences. 

18:00 - 19:00 - Dinner+concert 
20:00 - 21:00 - FILM: 'Returning Home: Revival of a Bosnian Village' by Tone Bringa 

This film has been made over a much longer period of time than any news reports which we may see, and we are therefore able to get much closer to the roots of the problems than through the daily depictions of the destruction in the aftermath of bombing and firing. We watch the gradual development of distrust between people who never considered their differences of any importance, and the disastrous effects that outside pressures can play in the deterioration of human interactions. 


JUNE 19, SUNDAY  
10:00 - 11:30
- Practices of Intercultural Dialogue – Conclusions 

Conditions and opportunities for developing the intercultural dialogue program in South Caucasus. Colloquium conclusions and perspectives for the program continuation. Program and organizational model for centers of intercultural practices, and chances for launching such centers. Propositions of the co-operation and partnership in building of an open society by the means of intercultural dialogue. 

Discussion with all participants involved. 

Moderator: Vladimir Milcin, theater director, Open Society Institute – Macedonia Executive Director 

12:00 – 15:00 - ACADEMY OF DIALOGUE (lunch and music is included) 
After focusing on the practical issues this debate is to discuss provocative ideas, look into the future, and move imagination. Will the 21st century be the age of dialogue, the age of global meeting of 'the Other'? Will it bring a new dimension for encounters between civilizations and cultures? Will it manage to invent a new language of multiculturalism, some new ideas and concepts? Will it be possible to work out any new and modern 'ethos of dialogue' in our times? Prospects, concepts and ideas to be discussed are unlimited. 

Participants: Neal Ascherson, Tone Bringa, Krzysztof Czyżewski, Naira Gelashvili, Hatutyun Marutyan, François Matarasso, Niyazi Mehdi, Vladimir Milcin, Stanisław Zapaśnik 

17:00 - 18:30 - Partnership for Intercultural Dialogue: Possibilities and Obstacles Dinner & Discussion Participants:

OSI Budapest, Open Society Georgia Foundation, Ministry of Culture in Georgia, Eurasia Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Goethe Institute, Borderland Foundation


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