Home THE EUROPEAN IDEA IN GEORGIA AT THE END OF THE 19 AND BEGINNING OF THE 20 CENTURIES
Discussion / Lecture 14 June 2018

THE EUROPEAN IDEA IN GEORGIA AT THE END OF THE 19 AND BEGINNING OF THE 20 CENTURIES

16:15 Location: Jena Friedrich-Schiller Universität, Seminarraum der Kaukasiologie, Jenergasse 8 (Acchouchierhaus) / 1 Etage, 07743 Jena, Germany Organizer: Georgian National Book Center, SOVLAB, Friedrich-Schiller Universität Jena Speaker: Irakli Khvadagiani
Moderator: Dr. Diana Forker
 
The Russian tzarist empire conquered Georgia and the Caucasus in the ‘garb of the bringer of civilisation’. In addition to transforming the feudal society, the new generation of the Georgian enlightenment born in the first half of the 19th century, the majority of whom were educated in the cultural and political centre of the tzarist regime, chose the European way of forming an identity and European values as their model, thereby attempting to circumvent the Russian ‘progress exports’ route. The agents of culture and representatives of political circles tried to carry out a thoughtful and planned educational, cultural and civic-minded activist campaign by every possible means. Even at the beginning of the 20th century, the attention of the Georgian press was directed towards Europe, Georgian grammar school students preferred to stay ‘home’ and study at a European university, even if they often had to go hungry. In 1918, this generation expressed the desire to become a fully-fledged member of the European family; they even managed to surprise Europe more with democratic socialism. What happened in Georgian society when the values and ideas from the outside world came face to face with the boundaries of political realism and soon landed back in the hostile atmosphere of the Soviet project?  What is the relationship between Georgian society’s current European ambitions and the original project?