Forthcoming events involving ABS (save the dates)

UCL Conference on Belarusian Studies, 22-23 Feb 2020
Kupalle (Midsummer celebration) – Saturday, 27 June 2020
Uladzimir Karatkevich avviversary celebration –Saturday 7 November, 2020
Batleika – second half of December 2020
• “Jewish Belarus” event – TBC

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Annual Report of the Chairman of the Anglo-Belarusian Society for 2019

In 2019 the Society held an Annual General Meeting, celebrated our traditional annual events such as Mother Language Day, Kupallie, Kaliady and Batliejka. The Society also took part in the Fourth Annual London Conference on Belarusian Studies, commemorated 10th anniversary of the death of Vera Rich and participated in a charity event to raise funds for Belarusian children in need of medical help.

The Annual General Meeting took place on 16th March 2019 to commemorate 65th anniversary of the Society which was founded exactly on the same day in 1954. Memories of the Society’s activities and achievements were shared by Jim Dingley who served as a chairman of the Society for many previous years, Arnold McMillin, Alan Flowers and others. We reported our events of 2018, elected the Society’s officials and looked forward to the events being prepared for 2020. The Meeting was followed by a concert given by our guest, the well known Belarusian poet and musician Zmicer Vajcjushkevich. Continue reading

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2020 Annual Conference Belarusian Studies in the 21st Century

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Ostrogorski Centre and the  Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum invites to the Annual London conference on Belarusian Studies.

The conference will take place on 21–22 February 2020 at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) and the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum in London.

The conference serves as a multidisciplinary forum of Belarusian studies in the West and offers a rare networking opportunity for researchers of Belarus. The draft programme of the conference is available here.

This year’s Annual London Lecture on Belarusian Studies will be delivered by Professor Thomas Bohn from Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany. The title is ‘Bagpipe Player and Painted Birds. Belarusian Histories of the People in the Marshes.’

To register for the conference please complete the online form linked here no later than 19 February 2020. The working language of the conference is English. Continue reading

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AGM and Mother Language Day Celebration – 8 February 2020

On Saturday, 8 February 2020 an Annual General Meeting of the Anglo-Belarusian Society will be held at 2pm at Marian House, London N12.

Following that, the Anglo-Belarusian Society cordially invites its members and friends to the Mother Language Day celebration, with poetry readings and a special guest appearance of a prominent Belarusian author/ poet TBC.

Our annual Mother Language Day celebration will be organised with the participation of the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum. Continue reading

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2019 Kalady and Batlejka in London (Christmas celebration)

ABS-1All members and friends of the Belarusian community in Britain are cordially invited to the traditional Kaliady (Christmas) celebration organised by Anglo-Belarusian Society on Saturday 14 December 2019, 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) given by Paval Šaǔcoǔ and his troupe.

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.

All willing will have an opportunity to sing Belarusian and English carols. Continue reading

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Kupalle (Midsummer) celebration 2019

kupaThe Anglo-Belarusian Society invites its members and friends to the traditional Kupalle (Midsummer) celebration in the garden of the Belarusian House, 52 Penn Road, London N7 9RE

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
  • With a guest appearance and performance from the well-known musician and singer Zmicier Vajciushkevich. We are very lucky this year to have Zmicier back with us in London for Kupalle!

Continue reading

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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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