Belarusian Award Ceremony 2018

Belarusian award ceremony inside the Azgur Museum in Minsk | Photo: Körber-Stiftung
Belarusian award ceremony inside the Azgur Museum in Minsk | Photo: Körber-Stiftung

On 14 June 2018, the award ceremony for the Belarusian history competition 2017/2018 took place in Minsk. Winners and organisers gathered in the former house and studio of the sculptor Said Azgur, which now houses a museum dedicated to the artist and his work. The busts and monuments of historical persons (including Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev) together with those of artists and everyday people formed a suiting background for a competition that dealt with the remains of the past.

Canvas with photographs analysed by the participants | Photo: Körber-Stiftung
Canvas with photographs analysed by the participants | Photo: Körber-Stiftung

The topic of the Belarusian competition was “Behind the Scenes – From the History of the Family to the History of the Community”. In their contributions, participants analysed photographs from family and local collections, researching the stories behind it and placing them in a larger, historical frame. Tutors, experts from NGOs, the Belarusian Archive for Photographs, Films and Phono documents as well as journalists had joined forces to support participants during their project work. 

A total of 98 contributions were handed in by 116 participants. The contributions were distributed among all six districts of Belarus and the capital Minsk, with the largest participation from Brest being counted.

While some participants decided to work on their projects individually, others formed small groups. Results were quite impressive and focused on a variety of subjects such as the history of schools or spa towns, railway accidents, everyday heroes or the contribution of Belarusian builders to the reconstruction of Tashkent after the earthquake of 1966. A canvas in the hallway of the museum displayed reproductions of the photographs analysed by the participants.

Announcing the winners | Photo: Körber-Stiftung
Announcing the winners | Photo: Körber-Stiftung

During the award ceremony, representatives of the Department of the National Institute for Education, the German Embassy, the NGO “Historica”, DVV International and EUSTORY congratulated the winners and tutors on their efforts and success in the competition. Ms Pevsner, Head of Department of National Institute of Education, and Ms Luther, Deputy Head of the German Embassy in the Republic of Belarus, highlighted that working with history never will come to an end, since each generation of young people will have to find their own approaches towards the past. And from this perspective, Ms Pevsner added, contributions to the competition formed a little piece of historical heritage in their own right, since these contributions could tell future generations how young people approached history in 2018.

The day after the ceremony, a feedback workshop for tutors was held to discuss experiences and suggestions for a future competition. Meanwhile, competition winners were invited to an artistic workshop held in the former studio of Said Azgur.


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