On July 4-5, the Second Global Belarusian Meeting took place in Vilnius. Aim of the meeting was to strengthen the cultural and historical ties between Lithuania and Belarus, discuss the urgent issues and possible solutions. Three discussions were held during which Lithuanian and Belarusian scientists, publicists discussed the common history of Lithuania and Belarus, sought to find out the consequences of the Soviet period for the states and find out their assessments, as well as the audience was introduced to the peculiarities of Belarusian culture in Lithuania and with the Belarusian Diaspora problems in Lithuania and the rest of the world.
The event was opened by Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus Andrius Pulokas, who emphasized the benefits of such discussions and was pleased that during such meetings the relationship between Lithuania and Belarus is being strengthened.
During the first discussion, speakers discussed about the general history of Lithuania and Belarus: the Radzwil family. During this discussion, a great deal of attention was paid to the roots of the Radzwil family and their place in history, to the merits of this family for Lithuania and Belarus, to the signs and archives left behind by the Radzwil. It is indisputable to speak about the existing differences in the perception of this family, for example, about the territorial affinity of the tribe and the different attention given to its branches. It is emphasized that Radzwil is a popular family in Belarus, often associated with cultural objects of the country or even commercial brands. The guest of the discussion from the Belarusian National Museum of History and Culture – Reserve in Nesvizh Siarhei Chystsiakou and Audronė Vyšniauskienė introduced the audience with the relics and legacies of the Radzwil family in Belarus.
During the second discussion about cultural memory: How to deal with the sovietisation remnants? During this discussion, different long-term perceptions of the Lithuanian-Belarusian Soviet-era and the consequences of it were analyzed. Guests from Belarus Palina Sciepanienka, Andrei Charniakevich and Tatiana Vadalazkaya highlighted the lack of systematic evaluation of the Soviet period in Belarus, the nostalgia of communism in Belarus in the official institutions and in the the public is still frequent, and there is still a lack of objective deconstruction of the entire socialist system, as it emphasizes the simplicity and acceptability of the system, also there still is a marked division in society on this issue. The case of Lithuania was presented as well, which shows a clear and purposeful desoviestization activity based on the basis of the First Republic. It is worth to mention that the disagreements in Lithuania regarding the Soviet heritage were also highlighted.
The last discussion overviewed the Belarusian culture in Lithuania and the Lithuanian in Belarus. In this discussion, the Belarusian writers Aleh Minkin, Andrei Antonou and Aleksey Adomkovich highlighted the peculiarities of Belarusian cultural life in Belarus, Lithuania and the rest of the world. It was marked that the significance of Vilnius for the cultural life of Belarus is huge, and this city has been especially important for several last decades. Vilnius, due to its political and geographical situation, is called an attractive Belarusian attraction center, where artists can create without any following consequences. Also it was noted that due to closed Belarusian policy towards minorities, as Belarus often does not support its national minorities not only in Lithuania but in other countries of the world, isolation bubble tend to form around Belarusian communities in the world.
This event was implemented by the EESC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Lithuanian Development Cooperation, the European Humanities University, the EuroBelarus international consortium and Global Belarussian Leaders. For more information, please, see the agenda here.