Jo Seaman on Roses Down the Barrel of a Gun
Sunday 7 November 3-4 pm
Georgia 2001. “Your mission, Jo, should you choose to accept it, is to find out what young Georgians want,” said the man from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or words to that effect. “We’re keen to know what will happen when President Shevardnadze moves on.”
Jo Seaman went to the South Caucasus as director of the British Council in Georgia at a time of political uncertainty and turmoil. In attempting to fulfill her mission of cultural diplomacy she rubs shoulders with ballerinas and border guards, ambassadors and activists, ministers and musicians, despots and dodgy officials. Jo's intimate descriptions of a culture only relatively recently emerged from the shadow of the Iron Curtain are underpinned with a genuine warmth and compassion for the Georgian people. A consummate diplomat, Jo needs all her skills as she ventures out into the fraught and often amusing sphere of international relations, and is drawn into the heady events of the Rose Revolution. And life at home is far from uneventful...