21 February 2017
A recent construction conflict, lasting from May 2016 to January 2017, has divided Belarusian civil society. Residents, along with environmental activists, were able to halt the erection of a Catholic church in a Minsk park. Eventually, the Archbishop of Belarus even accused environmental NGOs of persecuting the Catholic Church.
Even according to official data, the population of Minsk...
07 February 2017
On 24 January, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne rescinded the Belarusian national rowing team's suspension. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) had banned the team in July 2016, just a couple of weeks before the Olympics in Rio.
Justice triumphed. Belarusian sport officials claim that due to the ban, Belarus had lost at least three Olympic medals, and they...
01 February 2017
On 20 January, the Belarusian jury and TV audiences selected the band Navi to represent Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest. For the first time in the history of Eurovision, Belarus's performance will be in the Belarusian language.
This is just one of many small steps that Belarus has recently taken to promote tolerance and respect for the Belarusian language. Following the...
26 January 2017
A newcomer to the top Belarusian football league, FC Krumkachy (or Ravens), from Minsk became the most discussed phenomenon of Belarusian sport in the media in 2016.
The story of the club plays out like a Hollywood movie. A group of enthusiasts founded the club just five years ago, and after three years in minor leagues their dreams came true. Krumkachy earned the right to debut in the...
05 January 2017
The 2016 issue of the Journal largely resulted from a conference organised by the Ostrogorski Centre and the UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies in London in March 2016.
The conference gathered around 20 scholars of Belarus from the United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Canada, Poland, and France. Three papers were selected for publication alongside the annual lecture...
29 December 2016
On 15 December, the best Belarusian crowdfunded projects of 2016 received awards in Minsk. 15 finalists received funding totaling $19,500. Crowdfunding has become one of the simplest and most accessible forms of civic participation. In a nondemocratic environment, crowdfunding is one of the safest ways of practising social activism.
The best Belarusian campaigns of 2016 were mainly...
12 December 2016
On 13 December 2016 Minsk hosts the 4th Annual Dutch-Belarusian-Polish Conference. The year the topic is 'Education as a Human Right: Modernising Higher Education to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century'.
The conference takes place three days after International Human Rights Day, which commemorates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the...
07 December 2016
This year the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Belarus 30th out of 144 countries in its Global Gender Gap Index.
According to its indicators, Belarus surpassed highly developed countries such as Canada (35) and the United States (45). However, unlike other countries at the top of the list, Belarus does not have any coherent strategy to achieve gender equality.
2016 also saw a...
06 December 2016
On 13 December 2016 Minsk will host the 4th Annual Dutch-Belarusian-Polish Conference. The year the topic is 'Education as a Human Right: Modernising Higher Education to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century'.
The conference will take place three days after International Human Rights Day, which commemorates the adoption in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by...
30 November 2016
On 27 October 2016, the first Belarusian Nobel Prize winner Sviatlana Alexievič made a donation to the Ravenka family, a couple in Slonim with six children.
She deliberately made her act public, as discussions of this particular case in the media are telling of the many challenges faced by large families in Belarus.
Despite some state support, large families in Belarus struggle...
08 November 2016
Audio podcasts from the conference ‘Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century’ held in London in March 2016 became available online.
The conference served as a multidisciplinary forum of Belarusian studies for researchers of Belarus in the West covering a wide range of topics - from history and foreign policy of Belarus to public art and digital engagement.
28 October 2016
On 12 October 2016 Belarus announced its intention to adopt a national action plan for a green economy. This September the country also ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement. What's more, the European Union has invested over €10m in a project aiming to fascilitate Belarus’ transition to a green economy.
What a "green economy" entails could be anything...