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Local Community as a Factor of Politics in Belarus

A roundtable with journalists specializing in green and local politics and with urbanists from Belarus
June 16, 2021 at 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

This event addressed digital and civic journalism dimensions of the activation of political life on local and national levels in Belarus in 2020. It brought together an academic urban researcher and journalists working on the issue of local communities. The main topic of discussion was the experience of local activists, and the experience of visual and narrative journalists documenting the boom of neighborhood communities in highly risky repressive political circumstances. The following questions were discussed during the event:

- Is the growth of activeness of local communities in Belarus in 2020 a new phenomenon? Or did it exist during a few recent years, and just became visible in the period of the presidential election campaign and its consequences?

- How did the boom of local communities in Belarus impact the mass media agenda and journalists' work? Could we say that in the mass media this phenomenon was underestimated or overestimated in summer and autumn 2020?

- Is housing the main factor of local community formation? Is it correct to say that the most active local communities form around housing that was recently built, on a fully commercial basis? Are there other factors of local communities formation, except housing?

- Do local communities in Belarus have an agenda, autonomous from general political agenda? Can we expect this autonomous agenda?

- Are local communities possible without digital platforms in Belarus today? Are there instruments for local communities functioning that could substitute digital platforms?

Roundtable speaker Andrey Vazyanau, member of Minsk Urban Platform

Roundtable speaker Yanina Melnikava, chief editor at GreenPortal - a news portal of Belarus Green Network

Roundtable speaker Hanna Valynets, GreenPortal - a news portal of Belarus Green Network

Organized by

Siarhei Liubimau