This discussion aims to examine the legacy of Soviet dissent cultures and practices of resistance in terms of their influence on the contemporary anti-authoritarian and anti-war protest movements in Belarus.
The main questions are:
To what extent are the experience and practices of resistance to the Socialist system relevant today?
How can the knowledge of this past enrich both the scholarly understanding and practices of cultural resistance?
To what extent is the experience of the Soviet and Post-Soviet comparable?
Which new forms of protest have arisen?
Does this difference go beyond the speed and breadth of coverage that became possible with the introduction of new media?
Whether, and if yes, then in which way should the Russian War in Ukraine and its consequences motivate the revision of the legacy of Soviet dissent?
While many articles and discussions were devoted to the White-Red-White revolution of 2020 in Belarus, a few attempted to situate the recent protests in the historical context. How was resistance possible in a country notorious in the past as the “exemplary socialist republic” and the „last European dictatorship”? Was the Belarusian revolution only a belated echo of 1989? Or is it a contemporary phenomenon that draws inspiration from other protest cultures in Europe and beyond?
Alesja Belanovich-Petz, Forum for Historical Belarus Research at the German Association for East European Studies
Juliane Fürst, Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam
Tatsiana Astrouskaya, Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg, Author of “Cultural Dissent in Soviet Belarus (1968–1988). Intelligentsia Samizdat and nonconformist Discourses” (Harrassowitz, 2019)
Tania Arcimovich, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
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