Repressions and cultural resistance: How to help Belarusians fight cultural oppression?


Katsiaryna Lozka, Research Fellow at the Oxford Belarus Observatory



Alina Koushyk, Representative for National Revival of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus

Dr Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Institute of the Leibniz Association, and Associate Lecturer at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany 

Julia Cimafiejeva, Belarusian Poet and Translator

Siarhiej Budkin, Chief Executive Officer of the Belarusian Council for Culture 


The cultural sphere in Belarus is facing unrelenting repressions. From arrests of cultural figures to attacks on the Belarusian language and traditions, the level of repressions and cultural destruction have not decreased since 2020. Dozens of cultural workers remain behind the bars, hundreds were forced to flee. Many cultural civil society organisations were liquidated. Nevertheless, in the context of continuous repressions and war, a resistance movement empowered by artists, writers, and musicians persists. These experiences and practices of cultural resistance have deep historical roots.

How do Belarusians inside and abroad fight for their cultural and historical heritage? To what extent is the current period of Belarusian resistance comparable with earlier periods, including the Soviet times? How do culture and art help to resist the dictatorship? What support do cultural workers need and what challenges do they face? Finally, what could be their role in overcoming the trauma of repressions and exile today and in post-authoritarian Belarus? These and other questions will be discussed in a panel discussion organised by the Oxford Belarus Observatory, in partnership with the Research Center of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Office, and the IGSD, University of Warwick.


Please register here.


Language Remarks: 
Siarhiej Budkin will speak Belarusian during the webinar. If simultaneous translation from Belarusian to English is required, please join via Zoom.