Public Lecture by Paul Manning: "The City of Gardens: Three Garden Heterotopias of Old Tbilisi"


On 26 October 2018, at 18:00, ISU (Room A101) Professor Paul Manning, of the Trent University, will be speaking about The City of Gardens: Three Garden Heterotopias of Old Tbilisi

Long ago, Tbilisi, the old walled city that is also known as K’ala, was ringed with suburbs, Garetubani, which were filled with gardens. The famed description of Tbilisi by Vakhushti in the 18th century does not describe any of these suburban gardens specifically, only drawing attention to the extraordinary number of them. Tbilisi was in this sense a typical Persian city, defined by a central opposition between city and suburban gardens, contrasting models of spatial order that exist side by side.

What kinds of gardens were there in and around Tbilisi? What kinds of heterotopias, “other spaces” --spaces that announce themselves as mythic or real worlds apart from the ordinary-- did they represent? What kinds of everyday practices, of drinking and walking, what urban genres of writing and song, were associated with these different gardens? And how did they differ not only from the ordinary spaces – the streets and houses-- of the city, as well as from each other? Tbilisi is haunted by the after-images of these gardens. Today I want to talk about three such urban garden heterotopias: suburban walled royal gardens from the Safavid period of Sololaki, which all were destroyed in 1795, new Russian colonial gardens typified by Alexandrovski Garden, and lastly, Ortachala’s gardens, the gardens of the poetry of Old Tbilisi.

Language: English

Time: 26 October, 18:00

Venue: Room A101, Ilia State University (32 Ilia Chavchavadze Ave.)

Attendance is free.

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