altes Siegel

Culture and history

  • Interactive map of Belarusian history
  • Uladsimir Arlou, Smizer Herasimowitsch:
    This country called Belarus. An illustrated history (2003) **

    The book provides an overview of the history of Belarus from the earliest times to the beginning of the 20th century. You will get to know the great personalities of Belarusian history; you will discover how the Belarusians lived at different stages of their history, what wars they had to wage and how they developed culturally. The book contains more than two thousand illustrations, including unique manuscript miniatures, medieval engravings and rare photographs. Many illustrations have never been published before. The history of Belarus is presented here as an integral part of overall European history.

    ** The book might not be available outside of Belarus. Please, feel free to contact us!

  • Rainer Lindner: Historians and Political Rule: Nation-Building and History Politics in Belarus in the 19th and 20th Centuries (1999; in German)

    For a long time, Belarus was at best perceived as provincial region of Russia in the West. The changing historical power relations stood on the way to the formation of the Belarusian nation time and again. As a case study for Eastern European peripheral nations, this book written by Rainer Lindner addresses the Belarusian historiography and historical culture in their interrelations to political rule. The period of investigation extends from the late 19th century to the present - from the time of origin of a Belarusian national idea to the 1920s and 1930s under Stalin, the decade between the Second World War and the thaw period to the late- and post-Soviet period. The study also shows how the history politics of the first Belarusian president in the 1990s was opposed to the nation-building of the Belarusians.

  • Dietrich Beyrau, Rainer Lindner: Handbook of the History of Belarus (2001; in German)

    The Republic of Belarus is a young state with only a few historical roots. Belarus lies at the crossroads of several European languages and cultures and thus offers a heterogeneous cultural landscape both as a periphery and as a state in the new Europe. This fact fascinates for exploring its history. After almost sixty years, the handbook provides the first overview in German of the history of Belarus as a state and as a historical region. It brings together numerous contributions by German and international authors and summarizes the current state of research and discussion.

  • Astrid Sahm: Transformation in the shadow of Chernobyl. Environmental and energy policy in the social transformation of Belarus and Ukraine (1999; in German)

    For the first time, the study provides a detailed description of Chernobyl and nuclear energy policy in Belarus and Ukraine for the years 1989 to 1997. It analyses the historical, political, radio-ecological and socio-economic factors as well as the international environment in order to explain the policy change in both countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. At the same time, it clarifies the impact of environmental and energy policy issues on democratisation and nation-state formation in Belarus and Ukraine. Similarities and differences in the current Belarusian and Ukrainian transformation process are therefore comprehensible.

  • Artur Klinau: Sun City of Dreams (2006; in German)

    Those who come to Minsk for the first time are irritated and overwhelmed by the huge boulevards, the endless parks right in the centre, the many palaces richly decorated with curious decor. Designed by the Soviets as an ideal city, as the realisation of the communist utopia, Minsk has transformed itself into a space of absurdity: an architectural monument to a city of happiness and an expression of the impossibility of obtaining it. This is where the fight for the future takes place, the democracy pushes forward – it has always sabotaged the establishment of any ideal city. The Belarusian artist, architect and publicist Artur Klinau portrays the "Sun City of Dreams" and tells us about the resistance against the dictatorship of Lukashenka and states the disappearance of Europe in the twilight zone of Belarus.

  • Artur Klinau: Partisans: Culture, Power, Belarus (2014; in German)

    The partisan, says the author Artur Klinau, is not only the heroic character with the weapon in his hand. "It is also a diagnosis: a pathological state of consciousness with deep-seated fears in response to historically conditioned trauma." The partisan is a character typical for Belarus. Today, according to Klinau and the makers of his magazine pARTisan, a partisan strategy is the only way out of the deep misery of his country. Because politics does not help against the regime of Lukashenka. What this strategy looks like – that is what this book is about.

  • Valiancin Akudovich: The absence code (2013; in German)

    A scandalous fact of the European politics gets periodically out of sight: there is a country on the EU's external border that has fallen out of time – the authoritarian Belarus, the former Belarusian Soviet republic, now ruled by Lukashenka. In a compelling essay that combines profound historical analysis with provocative theses, Valiancin Akudovich explores the causes of his country's notoriously weak identity. He counters the idea of a Belarusian nation favoured by the government and the democratic opposition with the idea of a state of free and equal citizens of different origins and languages.

  • Maria Cheryakova, Marta Chernova: Heta Belarus Dzietka! (2015) **
    (Bel.: That's Belarus, Babe!)

    The book, written by two Belarusians raised in the Netherlands and in the USA, offers a witty, yet reflective and insightful look at the Belarusians, their customs and their mentality. In the book, the authors explore the most diverse aspects of everyday life in Belarus and give very reasonable and humorous explanations to shocking and seemingly illogical things. There is also blog of the same name.

    ** The book might not be available outside of Belarus. Please, feel free to contact us!

  • Nadine Lashuk: Greetings from Minsk (2016; in German)

    The book is written by Nadine Lashuk, a political scientist from Germany, who lived in Belarus from 2006 to 2014. Keeping track of her career with the European Commission, Nadine moves to Minsk for an internship. When she loses her heart to a Belarusian, her connection to this exotic land, which is not behind the moon, but between Poland and Russia, is sealed forever. The young German has to learn that a visit to the parents equals an engagement; a decent woman always has a chicken in the fridge and the Brezhnev's raising guide on the shelf. A profound story about life and love between Soviet and modern, East and West. Highly recommended! Nadine also blogs about Belarus (in German).

  • Aliaksandr Bely: The Belarusian Cookbook (2008) **

    The cookbook is an exploration of Belarusian history and food, as well as the prominent Jewish influence on the national kitchen. Aliaksandr Bely, a historian and native of Belarus, reconstructs traditional recipes, both from peasants and aristocrats, with the aim to delight your palate and restore the national culinary traditions.

    ** The book might not be available outside of Belarus. Please, feel free to contact us!

  • Michas Ramaniuk: The Belarusian national dress (2003) **

    The illustrated manual is based on depictions of Belarusian peasants and city dwellers dressed in festive costumes and traditional ritual clothing from the 19th to the middle of the 20th century. A large-scale research lies behind the numerous illustrations, the scientific and artistic-graphic reconstructions of the national costumes from all ethnographic regions of Belarus are displayed to the viewer. The famous Belarusian ethnographer and art historian, Michas Ramaniuk, collected material for reconstructions for more than a quarter of a century – in remote villages, museums, archives and libraries. The signatures in the book are available in four languages: English, German, French and Belarusian.

    ** The book might not be available outside of Belarus. Please, feel free to contact us!

  • Volya Dzemka: The Songs of Old Europe – Ancient Belarusian Folk Songs (2018)

    Did you know that Belarusian folk songs are the oldest unaltered songs in Europe? A Belarusian living in the USA Volya Dzemka has made a documentary about it, which has already won several international film awards. The film offers an intimate, rare look into the world of Belarusian folk songs, which have been preserved for millennia and are still performed by Belarusian villagers today. Unfortunately, they are getting lost with the disappearance of village life and its bearers ...

  • Andrej Liankewitsch: Photoalbum „Focus on Belarus“ (2008)

    The pictures contained in the catalogue (with signatures in English, German and Belarusian) were made between 2004 and 2007 and show those parts of Belarusian everyday life that determine the present of his homeland for the photo-journalist Andrei Liankevich: the "simple" life of the people in the villages, the omnipresence of the autocratic state under Aliaksandr Lukashenka by police and military on the streets, nonconformist art projects of critical youth and the Soviet past that just will not pass away.

  • Siarhej Plytkewitsch: Photoalbum "Surprising Belarus" (2016) **

    An amazing photo album by Siarhei Plytkevich with many colourful views of Belarus from a bird's eye view in Belarusian, Russian, German and English. Let yourself be inspired!

    ** The album might not be available outside of Belarus. Please, feel free to contact us!

Photo: dbg / Kate Ignashevich, 2017