Symposium: Belarus in Contemporary Europe

Protecting Identity
Conferences and Workshops

For many years, Belarus was confined to the sidelines of European history. It was only with the presidential election of 2020 and the huge accompanying wave of social protests that the country became a widespread topic of discussion. The symposium “Belarus in Contemporary Europe: Protecting Identity” aimed to initiate a more in-depth debate on the current situation in Belarus and to consider how it might develop. Particular emphasis was placed on the notion that Belarus is a country with a rich history and culture that has been a part of Europe and has maintained close relations with the rest of the continent for many centuries.

Participating in the symposium were Belarusian researchers whose work deals with Belarusian sociology, history and culture. They tried to paint a picture of modern Belarus as a state, nation, and space where different identities and worldviews, competing views of the past, and various fears for the future collide.

In English and Russian language.


10:0010:15       Welcome 
Ambassador Teresa Indjein, Head of the Department for International Cultural Policy, BMEIA
Clemena Antonova, Research Director Eurasia in Global Dialogue, IWM

10:1510:30       Introduction by the Moderator
Andriej Moskwin, Professor, Department of Belarusian Studies, Faculty of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw

10:3011:15       Session 1 (in Russian language)
Henadz Korshunou: “Prospects for a Horizontal Society”

11:1511:30       Coffee break

11:3012:15       Session 2 (in English language)
Pavel Barkouski: “Awakening of Belarus. Seeking to Found Democracy and a New Civil Society: The Christian Pathos of the Belarusian Revolution”

12:1513:00       Session 3 (in Russian language)
Anton Saifullayeu: “Trying to Deconstruct the Past. Using the Historical Narrative in the Context of the Belarusian Protest of 2020”

13:0014:00       Lunch break

14:0014:45      Session 4 (in English language)
Olga Shparaga: “The Belarusian Revolution is Female: Women as Actors and Symbols of the Revolution”

14:4515:30      Session 5 (in Russian language)
Aleksandr Raspopov: “The Aesthetic Dimension of the Belarusian Revolution. Areas of Freedom and Enslavement”

15:3016:00       Concluding remarks

The respective abstracts and information on the speakers can be downloaded here.


Co-organized by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria (BMEIA) – Department for International Cultural Policy.

The symposium takes place as part of the SOLIDARITY BELARUS initiative, a project by TRANZIT in cooperation with BMEIA (Larissa Agel, Michaela Geboltsberger, Georg Schöllhammer, and Simon Mraz). It is also part of the “Länderdialoge” program, a new project by BMEIA, and of the Vienna Art Week.

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