“Have There Been Any Dissidents in Belarus?”: public discussion on May 15


Dissidence is a form of rejection in an authoritarian state. It comes from the Latin “dissidere” – “to be excommunicated”, “to disagree”, “to think differently”.

The dissident movement was one of the features of political life in the USSR. But were there any dissidents in the BSSR? Did any Belarusian dissident movement exist in the Soviet times?

Was the Belarusian intelligentsia movement dissident while it had a primarily national nature and was anti-communist due to Russification conducted by the communist power?

These questions remain debatable and therefore will be subject for a public discussion during the symposium involving the scientists and members of the social movement of the 1980s-1990s.

The discussion is scheduled for 18:30 of May 15 and will take place in the “Ў” gallery (37A Niezaliežnaści Avenue).


Raman Jakaŭlieŭski, political analyst

Alieh Dziarnocič, historian

Fragments of the “Dissident” documentary will be shown during the discussion. The documentary is focused on the life of Michaś Kukabaka, a Belarusian dissident who spent 17 years in prisons, camps and closed mental asylums. In 2014, being invited by the human rights centre “Viasna”, Michaś Kukabaka visited Belarus. His journey to the Homeland serves the basis for the “Dissident” documentary which reveals the fate and character of Michaś demonstrating how one man can resist the totalitarian system of the USSR and the unbearable conditions of the Soviet prisons, how a man can overcome fear, keep his dignity and maintain beliefs.

The documentary was first screened on 30 October, 2014 in commemoration of the Day of the Victims of political repressions in Babrujsk, the Homeland of Michaś Kukabaka.

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