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Olga Shparaga

The Face of the Revolution is Female - The Case of Belarus

Essay | (Original Russian title: У революции женское лицо. Случай Беларуси)
Olga Shparaga

Olga Shparaga

Olga Shparaga, born in 1974, studied Philosophy at the Ruhr-University Bochum and at the Belarusian State University in Minsk. Between 2001 and 2014, she taught at the European Humanities University in Minsk (since 2005 from her exile in Vilnius). In 2014, she co-founded the European College of Liberal Arts in Belarus (ECLAB) in Minsk. She taught and carried out research in the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, Germany and the USA. Olga Shparaga is a member of the feminist group within the Coordination Council, the political organ of the opposition against dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

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A liberation movement in Europe – female, peaceful, postnational

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Minsk, summer 2020. A young woman in a sleeveless shirt dances along a black wall of special forces clad in black: Images like this one were seen the world over. Hundreds of thousands of courageous citizens from all social stratums are opposing the brutality of the regime with non-violence, creative diversity and decentralised self-organisation.

The events that have been unfolding in Belarus since the presidential elections on August 9, 2020, are far more than a regional protest movement against election fraud. History is being made in Minsk and many other cities of this widely unknown country situated between the EU and Russia. Female, peaceful, postnational – this is how the author characterises the change in her country and puts the events in the context of European and global emancipation movements.