Shirin Akiner (1942-2019) – in Memoriam

Shirin Akiner

Shirin Akiner

Shirin Akiner (1942-2019) came to the School of Slavonic and East European Studies of London University in 1965 as one of several ‘mature’ students as they were quaintly known at that time. As I was only in my second year of teaching and more or less the same age as these students I became friendly with several of them. Shirin was a brilliant student, recently widowed with a small child, Metin, after her husband had been killed in a car crash.

She was born to a Pakistani diplomat and Welsh mother, but brought up in a British school and spoke and wrote impeccable English. I got to know Shirin quite early on, as we shared an interest in classical music, although this is a serious understatement in her case, as she had studied the fiddle in Moscow and Amsterdam under the outstanding Soviet violinist David Oistrakh; I believe that after the tragedy of her husband’s death she never played the violin again. She remarried in the 1970s a scholarly businessman, David Mitchell, and moved from Willesden to Chelsea, and became known in non-academic life as Shirin Akiner Mitchell. Continue reading

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Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century: 4th Conference and Annual Lecture

Screenshot 2019-03-20 at 11.42.22The 4th Annual Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century will take place 29-30 March 2019 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) and at Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum in London.

To view a provisional programme of this year’s conference, please click here. The annual London conference on Belarusian Studies will follow three main conference panels.

This year, the Annual London Lecture on Belarusian Studies will be delivered at 6 pm on 29 March 2019 by Anaïs Marin (France), Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus. The topic of the lecture is Belarusian nationalism in the 2010s, a case of anti-colonialism? Origins, features and outcomes of ongoing ‘Soft Belarusianisation.’

A wine reception sponsored by the Anglo-Belarusian Society will follow the event.

Prior registration is essential. To register for the event please click here.

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65th Anniversary of the Anglo-Belarusian Society Celebration and Concert of Zmicier Vaiciushkevich

zvThe Anglo-Belarusian Society cordially invites its members and friends to join a celebration of its 65th Anniversary, organised with the participation of the Association of Belarusians in Great Britain.

On Saturday, 16 March 2019 an Annual General Meeting of the Anglo-Belarusian Society will be held at 2pm at 52 Penn Road, London N7 9RR and will be followed by the special guest appearance of a well-known musician and singer Zmicier Vaiciushkevich.

The concert will start at 3:30 pm and will be followed by refreshments.  Continue reading

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Mother Language Day Celebration 2019 with Uladzimir Arlou

movaThe Anglo-Belarusian Society cordially invites its members and friends to join our annual Mother Language Day celebration organised with the participation of the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum.

The event was inaugurated by the late Vera Rich to mark UNESCO Mother Language Day and involves poetry reading in all languages particularly Belarusian and English.

The celebration takes place on Saturday, 23rd February 2019 at 3 pm at the Belarusian Religious and Cultural Centre (Marian House, Holden Avenue, London N12 8HS). Continue reading

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Kaliady and Batlejka in London – Saturday, 22 December 2018

Batlejka in London. Photo: Kastus Lashkevich

Batlejka in London. Photo: Kastus Lashkevich

All members and friends of the Belarusian community in Britain are cordially invited to the traditional Kaliady (Christmas) celebration organised by the Anglo-Belarusian Society on Saturday 20 December 2014, 2pm at St Cyril’s Belarusian Religious and Cultural Centre (Marian House, Holden Avenue, London N12 8HY).

There will be the traditional, well-loved Batlejka (Belarusian Christmas puppet show) led by Paval Šaǔcoǔ. This will be followed by a short theatrical Nativity play with participation of the children attending St Cyril’s Sunday School.

Saint Nicholas will be giving out presents, so please, if you are coming with children, make sure to have a present prepared for each child and hand it over to Paval before the performance. Continue reading

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Купальле (Midsummer) Celebration Saturday 30 June 2018

kupalleThe Anglo-Belarusian Society invites its members and friends to the traditional Kupalle (Midsummer) celebration in the garden of The Belarusian House, 52 Penn RoadLondon N7 9RE on 30 June 2018, 4pm-10pm.

Programme:

  • Making flower crowns, the Witch and decorating the Kupalle wheel (donations of flowers by 3pm will be greatly appreciated)
  • Games and songs – Kupalinka – Jumping over the fire

Please assist us if possible by bringing along flower-crowns and wearing Belarusian costumes. The use of the Belarusian language will be encouraged!

Continue reading

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Joan Dzejka (1922-2018)

Joan photoThe Anglo Belarusian Society announces with sadness the passing of Joan Dzjeika on 19th January 2018.

Joan was one of the stalwarts of the Anglo-Belarusian Society, who almost always attended every session of the lecture series that were held in the 60s and 70s. Without her, there would not have been the marvellous food that she so generously supplied, and so there would have been no opportunity for the spirit of togetherness to flourish as it did after the lectures. In the 90s and into the 2000s, Joan was a quietly efficient treasurer of the Society.

Her husband Siarhiej, originally from Baranavichy in Belarus was always in attendance at lectures along with Joan. For several years he served on the Council of the Society.

Joan was born to Florence and Albert Duke on 8th August 1922 in Camberwell. She was the fourth of five children – Len, Ted, Patrick, then Joan and Gwen. Sadly, Joan was the last surviving sibling. The family were brought up in Camberwell at first and then later moved to Tottenham. Albert was a milkman with a traditional horse and cart. Continue reading

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