Belarusian exiles in Central and Eastern Europe after 2020

Belarusian exiles in Central and Eastern Europe after 2020

CEFRES workshop, CEFRES Library, Na Florenci 3, Prague

When: May 19, 2022, 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Where: At CEFRES and online
Language: English

Convenors: Ronan HERVOUET (CEFRES / University of Bordeaux), Daniela KOLENOVSKÁ (Charles University), Anna TALIARONAK (Charles University)

The conference will be at CEFRES and simultaneously on zoom:


The unprecedented protest movement against the Lukashenko regime was followed by an unprecedented repression. In the months following the 9 August 2020 presidential elections, more than 200,000 Belarusians are reported to have left the country. The most important destinations are Lithuania and Poland, but also the Czech Republic, Georgia, Ukraine and Germany. This emigration concerns various social groups: workers, doctors, academics, IT sector employees, students, etc. Indeed, it differs from the exile of political activists forced to leave after previous presidential elections. 

This workshop aims to analyze different dimensions of this European exile. It will examine the experiences of exiles, the reasons for their emigration, the conditions of reception in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the forms of solidarity that are deployed towards these populations and within these communities. 

This workshop will bring together researchers from the academic world, but also members of NGOs and solidarity networks.


9.00 | Welcome

09.15-10.15 | History of Belarusian exile

Discussant: Michal PLAVEC (Prague’s National Technical Museum)

Dorota MICHALUK (Nicolaus Copernicus University)

Unrealized concept of the Belarusian People’s Republic – causes and consequences

Daniela KOLENOVSKÁ (Charles University)

The different features of Belarusian exile in the 20th – 21st centuries

10.30-12.30 | Belarusian exiles, politics, and democracy

Discussant: Alena MARKOVÁ (Charles University)

Ekaterina PIERSON-LYZHINA (Université Libre de Bruxelles / CEVIPOL)

The paradox of seeking legitimacy by Belarusian internationally recognized opposition 

Ekaterina DEIKALO (Independent expert in international law and human rights, Belarusian academician)

What is the State and who we are ?

Kryscina ŠYJANOK (Belarusian translator & interpreter, activist)

Central European politics and Belarusian exiles : the Czech case

Vintsuk VYACHORKA (Belarusian linguist & journalist)

(To be confirmed)

13.30-15.00 | Academics, students and exile from Belarus

Discussant: Jérôme HEURTAUX (CEFRES)

Aliaksandr PARSHHANKOU (Charles University) and
Dmitrij METLICKÝ (Prague University of Economics)

The Role of Student Trade Unions during the Political Crisis in Belarus in 2020-2021

Nina SKEPYAN (Belarusian Institute in Prague)

Belarusian historical scholarship within the political crisis of 2020

Karolina KRACÍKOVÁ (Charles University)

Belarusians in exile in Czech Republic: solidarity and networks among students

15.30-17.15 | The experience of exile : gathering life histories, analyzing narratives

Discussant: Anemona CONSTANTIN (CEFRES)

Ronan HERVOUET (University of Bordeaux / CEFRES)

Life stories of Belarusian exiles : a sociological approach

Anna TALARIONAK (Charles University)

Belarusian Exiles Caught in the Ukrainian Conflict

Henadz KORSHUNAU (Center for New Ideas)

Belarusians today: in and outside Belarus

17.30-18.00 | Conclusive speech

Michèle BAUSSANT (CEFRES / ICM Fellow)

Far from where? From Exile to Exile, between uprooting and banishment