The ‘Urban Revolution’ in Today’s Belarus and Why Women are Leading - Elena Gapova
On August 9, 2020, Belarus, a post-socialist nation of nine and a half million, held presidential elections. After polling stations had closed, and Alexander Lukashenko, the president for the last twenty-six years, announced his victory with 80% of votes, people took to the streets. They have been protesting ever since, despite beatings by riot police, arrests, and even torture, demanding fair elections and the release of all political prisoners. The Belarusian revolution, as it is now called, became associated with the image of three women – a presidential candidate and two leaders of her team – raising their hands in the gesture of protest and solidarity. Elena Gapova will narrate the story of women emerging as the leaders of the Revolution as its most active and strong-willed participants.
Elena Gapova is Professor of Sociology at Western Michigan University specializing in gender, class, nation, and social movements in post-Soviet space. She was the Founding Director for the Centre for Gender Studies at European Humanities University in Minsk, Belarus. Her most recent book in Russian is The Classes of Nations: a Feminist Critique of Nation Building
What Is Happening In Belarus?
On November 21, CEERES hosted a round table discussion with Human Rights Activist Ales Bialiatski, Political Scientist Michael McFaul, and Historian David Marples, with Olga V. Solovieva and Zhanna Charniauskaya.
Ales Bialiatski is a Belarusian civic leader and founder of the Minsk-based Viasna Human Rights Center, which aims to provide financial and legal assistance to political prisoners and their families.
Michael McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014).
David R. Marples is a Distinguished University Professor of Russian and East European History, University of Alberta.
Olga V. Solovieva is Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago.
Zhanna Charniauskaya is a leader of the Belarusians in Chicago nonprofit organization and is a community organizer.