As a small and complex language, there has been little interest by international publishers to translate books into Georgian. As a consequence in the last twenty years translations into Georgian have been only within a few concentrated areas of interest and, if commercially available at all, are expensive. At the same time, Georgia's broadcast media has only modest and generally low quality international coverage. All of this leads to four dangerous trends in Georgian society: 1. Many in Georgia, particularly the overwhelming majority who are not fluent in English and can't afford much Internet time do not in fact know much about the conversations and motivations of the rest of the world. 2. Much of what is translated into Georgian is about Georgia. Coverage about issues in the rest of the world tends to focus on its specific relevance for Georgia's politics and relations of the day rather than the importance in the world. 3. Various analytical frameworks or even discussions in the rest of the world tend to be absent in Georgia. For example discussions of the meaning of the international financial crisis that lead to consensus about the solution are no where accessible to Georgians. 4. And finally because there are few external ideas that are formally introduced, it is difficult for those that would be interested to understand those ideas to talk to each other across territorial and generational lines. In the absence of a formal introduction, many people with questions and ideas are left not only without an intellectual catalyst but also without many people to discuss ideas with.
A lack of high-quality written material in the Georgian language--spoken by only 5 million people worldwide--means citizens in this pivotal crossroads are reading less and are cut off from global debates and trends of political thought, relying on hearsay and rumor rather than critical, informed thinking. With fewer Georgians reading Russian or English and no publisher in Georgia translating topical international works into the local language, this highly literate population is left in the dark.
Each month, our international selection committee chooses an accessible, innovative non-fiction work that has inspired global discussion. We purchase the rights, translate the book, print 5000 copies, and distribute them across Georgia inexpensively (for less than $1.25). Our system of free SMS messaging allows readers-especially those living outside the capital-to connect with each other. Georgians read the books, discuss the topics the world is talking about and how they relate to Georgia
Through book distribution, author events, and our SMS messaging system, Radarami is building a network of curious, open-minded readers from diverse backgrounds and helping them find each other. Our goal is to have 10,000 active readers in our network, debating via SMS and anticipating the next book on climate change, the global food crisis, or behavioral economics. For the first time, Georgians will have access to the most brilliant minds writing today and the most transformative works.