Georgia: A Center of the World

Georgia: A Center of the World

10 December 2023 Nathaniel Williams 844 views

The long anticipated and hoped-for conference of the Georgian Youth Society Parzival took place in August. In a moving account of the event, inspired by Georgian song and myth, Nathaniel Williams reflects on thoughts about social threefolding arising from the conference keynote talks.


When I first arrived at the Goetheanum in January of this year, I re-connected with members of the Youth Society Parzival from Georgia. I had met some of them a few years earlier at one of the Youth Section’s international network gatherings. I remember that first meeting and some of our discussions about higher education and how conscious I was of the radically different tenor they brought to the conversation. Afterward, they reached out to me with their intention to create a youth conference, but this was indefinitely postponed due to public health and travel restrictions. They did not stay idle, however. When I met them again this past January, I learned that they had channeled their energy into building a small Waldorf school in the small village of Matsevani, Georgia. Members meet at this building every Friday to study together and then spend the weekend working together and running after-school programs for local children. This fall, they are launching a seminar for young people who are interested in anthroposophy.

When we met back in January, the group shared their intention to finally pull off the conference and asked if we could focus some of the Youth Section work for the year around this project. The result was the International Youth Conference “Principles of Healthy Social Life,” which took place in Matsevani from the 9th-13th of August. The main idea, theme, and structure of the conference had been well prepared before I got involved, as it had been in the works for years. There were lectures, workshops hosted by young people from around the world, a film screening of the movie “Zusammenspiel” (1) [interplay], a screening of a movie about the building of the school in Matsevani (2), eurythmy exercises, outings in the countryside and village, and a concert.

This excerpt comes from an article originally published in the (online exclusive) English Edition of the weekly Newsletter ‹Das Goetheanum›. You can read the full article on the website of ‹Das Goetheanum›.

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Cover Image A miniature by Mamuka Tavakalashvili from the manuscript of Shota Rustaveli’s “Knight in the Panther’s Skin”. 15th century, National Center of Manuscripts, Tbilisi, Georgia. Photo: Machavariani, H. & Aleksidze, Z., The Decoration of Georgian Manuscripts. Tbilisi, 1990

1) Filmprojekt Soziale Dreigliederung.
2) Aufbauprozess des Bildungsraums.