Levan Berdzenishvili

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Levan Berdzenishvili is a Georgian politician, author and academic, and served as the director of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia from 1998 until 2004.[1]

Berdzenishvili was born in Batumi in 1953, and is the older brother of David Berdzenisvhili, also a politician.[2] On May 21, 1978, Berdzenishvili and his brother David, together with Vakhtang Dzabiradze and Vakhtang Shonia, founded the Republican Party of Georgia.[2] In June 1983, he was arrested and served several years in prison, as a dissident.[3] Berdzenishvili has described his experiences in an autobiographical novel, Sacred Darkness: The Last Days of the GULAG, published in English in 2019.[4] In the book, Berdzenishvili describes the years in prison as his "best years" because of the "people that surrounded me, people the KGB had so zealously brought together.”[3] His book includes short sketches of fellow dissidents that he was imprisoned with, including Vadim Yankov, Rafael Papayan (later member of the Constitutional Court of Armenia), Henrikh Altunyan, and others.[2] In February 2020, Sacred Darkness was nominated for the EBRD literature prize.[5]

Berdzenishvili served as a member of parliament, from 2012–2016, as part of the Georgian Dream coalition. In this capacity, he also served on various committees, briefly heading up the committee of European integration.[6] He previously served as an MP from 2004 to 2008, as part of the National Movement – Democrats.[6] Berdzenishvili was among the supporters of the Rose Revolution, as a member of the National Movement, which he joined in 2002.[7] Shortly after the Rose Revolution, Berdzenishvili and the Republican Party split from the governing faction, in June 2004.[8]

Berdzenishvili has written on Greek and Latin comedies, and teaches at various universities in Georgia. Berdzenishvili also is a frequent commenter on public and social affairs in Georgia.[9]


  1. ^ "The Directors of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia". Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Berdzenishvili, Levan (Jan 2019). Sacred Darkness: the Last Days of the GULAG. London: Europa editions.
  3. ^ a b Strader, Ryan K. "SACRED DARKNESS: THE LAST DAYS OF THE GULAG". Cleaver: Philadelphia's International Literary Magazine. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  4. ^ Publishers Weekly (January 2019). "Sacred Darkness". Retrieved 8 May 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Ross, Jane. "EBRD Literature Prize 2020: selected longlist announced". EBRD. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Levan Berdzenishvili, MP". Parliament of Georgia. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Levan Berdzenishvili to co-Chair the New National Movement". Civil.GE. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  8. ^ Gularidze, Tea (24 June 2004). ""Think-Tank" Republicans to Quit Ruling Coalition". Civil.GE. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  9. ^ Berdzenishvili. "Commentary on Civil.GE". Retrieved 8 May 2019.