Open letter. Solidarity with a Belarusian philosopher Uladzimir Matskevich

02 кастрычніка 2021

We address scientists, intellectuals, publicists, and journalists.

In 2020, the Belarusian regime that lost its legitimacy demonstrated its readiness to exterminate not only political opponents, and open civil activities, but also free thought. The arrest and imprisonment of a philosopher and methodologist Uladzimir Matskevich is an action aimed at silencing critical thinking. This is the fear that the Belarusian society will be guided by its intellectuals, will hear and implement the ideas that are born in the country, will think and act independently.

Uladzimir Matskevich has consistently criticized the Belarusian authorities for many years now, has proposed ideas and strategies for civil society actions. Many of them have led to the emergence of new important initiatives and structures, such as the Flying University, the Belarusian National platform of the Civil Society Forum, the Fresh Wind campaign, “Charter’97”. All of his proposals have been based on systematic research and analytical work.

Uladzimir Matskevich spoke many times about the importance of conceptualizing Belarus. He argued and showed that the socio-political processes taking place in Belarus are brand-new modern phenomena that reflect, and sometimes even outstrip certain world trends.

The arrest and imprisonment of Uladzimir Matskevich prompt us to pay attention to the intellectual work within the country in order to “Think Belarus”.

In a situation of revolutionary fervor or oppression by repressions, ordinary citizens rarely pay attention to the efforts of understanding, reflective analysis, and theory. This can be done by intellectuals, scientists and journalists. Only we ourselves, by discussing, developing and continuing the thoughts of modern Belarusian thinkers, can make them visible and audible for the Belarusian civil society.

We speak to free thinking in Belarus. We call on the Belarusian and international intellectual community:

  • to raise the issue of repression against free thinking at international media and political forums;
  • to organize discussions and conferences dedicated to the philosophical and methodological reasoning of modern Belarus;
  • to translate and distribute the works of Belarusian philosophers in other countries.

Free thought cannot be imprisoned!

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