International art life in Georgia: Russian Alexander FLORENSKY curates Ukrainian Anastasiia PTASHYTS at Tbilisi's Licht Gallery founded by Israeli-Swiss couple

28.06.2022 (Caucasian Journal) Today Caucasian Journal has very special guests representing the Tbilisi’s cosmopolitan art scene:  The Ukrainian artist Anastasiia PTASHYTS, hosted in Georgia under a residency program of Tbilisi’s Licht Gallery, the Israeli-Swiss co-founders of the gallery Daniel  LICHT and Rita GELIN LICHT,  and the Russian artist and art curator Alexander FLORENSKY. 
Seems like quite an interesting combination of nations, but not unusual for Tbilisi, which has for centuries been a very international city.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: My first question is to Anastasiia Ptashyts.  You have been working in Georgia for a month, away from Ukraine - what is your state of mind now? Which color (or image) is it, if I may ask?

Anastasiia PTASHYTS: My state is rather uncertain. Life seemed to be divided into two parts:  My family stayed in Ukraine, so a part of me lives there, and the other part is somewhere else, trying to find my place and work. I think often about what is my part and help to the victory of Ukraine. And I understand that my life, active position, and the fact that I can make an effort on myself and continue to work is the right thing for our victory.

Ekaterine METREVELI: "The war that Ukraine is fighting is our war as well"

25.06.2022 (Caucasian Journal) Today we are honored to meet with Dr. Ekaterine METREVELI, President of Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation), and Honorary Consul of Finland in Georgia.
The Georgia's European perspective and the bilateral relations of Georgia with its main partners and neighbors are all in the focus of this comprehensive interview. We also talk about the role of think-tanks in the formation of the country's international agenda.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Dear Ekaterine, welcome to Caucasian Journal. Thank you for attention to our readers. Many of them are professionals in international relations, and would be especially interested in this interview. There are quite many foreign policy questions on today’s agenda, but let me start by asking to briefly introduce your Foundation, and how did you get involved in it?

Ekaterine METREVELI: Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies is a Tbilisi-based foreign policy think tank, established back in 2001. We aim to improve decision-making practices, contribute to better national security policies, promote European and Euro-Atlantic integration and enhance regional cooperation. I joined the Foundation in 2002, after returning from the US, where I was a Muskie fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. I met Dr. Alexander Rondeli and Temur Yakobashvili, co-founders of the GFSIS, accidentally at one of the receptions and they have invited me to visit their office at Niko Nikoladze 7. I went on the second day and stayed for now already 20 years. Our office at that time was a small, three-room apartment where we’ve started one of GFSIS flagship programs in National Security in cooperation with the Rand Corporation supported by the US State Department. It was a very warm, friendly, family type atmosphere, which we hope to have maintained until today, with a steady growth of the foundation. What we are really proud of is that GFSIS houses people with different political views and this does not prevent us to coexist and contribute to the common goal that is Georgian state anchored in European and Euro-Atlantic space.