Spanish Culture Focus

THE GEORGIAN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS (GIFT) IN TBILISI IN HONOR OF
MICHAEL TUMANISHVILI in association with the Spanish Arts Council Acción Cultural
Española (AC/E) presents SPANISH CULTURE FOCUS 2019 for the first time in Georgia.

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This is the first time in the Caucasus that Spain will be represented by its culture within the first and
major International Arts Festival in the region running since 1997. The Gift Festival, as a leading platform
for international exchange, will host the best artistic potential of the country, which has historic ties with
Georgia. Spain and Georgia “are two democracies that are currently working in favour of peace and
cooperation from both sides of Europe”, the statement of Spanish Foreign Ministry points out (2017).
Scholars and researchers of Georgian ethnogenesis, which started four millenniums ago, are still
uncertain about some facts of our origin. The great Iberian family of Basques and Georgians, according
to antique sources, really existed and spoke in one language. According to the ancient Greeks, Iberians
(ie Georgians) came from Spain to the Caucasus (Megasthenes, Dionysius, Aphian Eusebius of Caesarea
and others). However, on the basis of archeological excavations, this suspicion has been totally
abandoned and the centuries-old studies doubt that Caucasian Iberians ever left their homeland at all,
or that they ever settled in Europe.
But the true fact is that the Spanish Basque language is still the only non-Indo-European language in
Western Europe. The only language it has remarkable similarities with is the Georgian language. In the
early 20th century philologists developed more scientific arguments for a link between the Basque and
Caucasian languages. Typological similarities certainly exist between Basque and Georgian, but despite
the mysterious history of our origin we rarely encounter Georgian-Spanish cultural connections. Still,
both nations are alway happy when an event like this reminds us of the myths and legends that connect
us.
Therefore the Spanish Focus 2019 of the GIFT Festival attracted attention of the Spanish Arts Council
Acción Cultural Española (AC / E), and with the help of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the GIFT
Festival offers to it audiences the latest Spanish performing panorama in Tbilisi!
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) is an agency that orchestrates public support for the promotion of
culture, both in Spain and overseas. Its aims include promoting Spain’s rich and plural artistic legacy and
fostering the internationalisation of its most contemporary creative and culture sector.
Highlighting the main creative and cultural fields – from science to history, and from visual, performing
and audio-visual arts to literature, music, architecture and design, among many others – AC/E’s projects
underline Spain’s diverse role in global culture, as well as the recent contributions of its newest creators.
Welcome aboard!

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