The changing role of civil society in Belarus

News - 2020-09-04
On Thursday 10th of September 2020, ForumCiv will be coordinating a webinar with members of the Swedish Network for Eastern Partnership and Russia on the current situation in Belarus. The purpose is to present different perspectives from organizations in Sweden that work with Belarusian CSOs on the ground demanding change.

Listen to the seminar in your podcast app or watch it below!

The development in Belarus, with massive protests against the current dictator, has struck many as a surprise and is something unique in the history of the country that has been under the rule of one leader since the fall of the Soviet Union. The situation develops very quickly with many actors involved internally and abroad. It is unclear how this will end, but it is for certain that there will be changes to the status-quo.

In order to get some more understanding of the different perspectives from the ground, the Swedish Network for Eastern Partnership and Russia (coordinated by ForumCiv), will arrange a webinar where its members specialized on Belarus will share their views and reflections.

The speakers will talk about the role of democratic parties, Belarusian journalists and the workers in the protest movement, and how these protests are important and different from other uprisings in the EaP region. 

Date: Thursday the 10th of September

Time: 11-12.00 a.m. (Swedish time)

Where: Live on Facebook or YouTube

Get to know the participants

Alesia Rudnik – Sweden based Belarus analyst with a background in political science and journalism. She is starting her Ph.D. education this fall on political bloggers at Kalmar University and has worked for several think tanks, media and NGO's with topics of human rights, democratization and election observation. Besides her Ph.D. education, Alesia is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for New Ideas (Minsk-based think-tank) and a chairperson for an NGO Sveriges Belarusier – the only formal organization of Belarusian diaspora in Scandinavia. 

Martin Ängeby - Secretary-General of SILC (Swedish International Liberal Centre) and Chairman of the International Elections Study Centre. Along other Swedish party foundations, SILC hosts a number of exchange activities with the Belarusian democratic political parties and supports efforts in election observation.  Martin Ängeby has 20+ experience of working in the field of democracy promotion, for International IDEA and for SILC. Martin frequently participates in Swedish foreign policy debate, particularly with regards to Sweden’s relationship to Belarus.

Lana Willebrand - Operations development officer at Union to Union (Swedish trade union movement’s organisation for international development cooperation). Born and raised in Minsk but living in Sweden since 2001. Works in the field of the international development aid with focus on civil society and trade union solidarity movement. Worked as a freelancer at the Belarusian service of the Radio Sweden (public service). One of the founders of the organisation Sveriges Belarusier (Belarusian diaspora in Sweden) in 2009.

Åsa Ohlsson – Long experience as a freelance journalist former board member in the Swedish Union of Journalists and former chairperson for Freelance journalists in Sweden. As a member of Freelance Expert Group, a part of European Union of Journalists, Åsa worked with Belarusian journalists and participated in seminars and round-table discussions concerning the situation for journalists in Belarus. She is also currently the chairperson of Föreningen Pennskaftet, a small organisation for female journalists and photographers in Sweden.

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