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What do you remember from the 90. in your countries? And about Belarus? According with the website and the project www.90s.by/ it was “a time of possibilities”. Why and why it’s also a little bit forgotten time in the common memory of Belarusian society, I’m speaking with Yasia KaralevichKartel, one of creators of that website. That’s another stop in my Belarusian study visits. - What do you remember from the 90. In Belarus? How old were you in that time? - I was born in 1989, I don’t remember strikes, demonstrations. But I’ve met a lot of people active in that time. I studied also a history and I was shocked with the lack of any interesting lesson about that period in our historical classes. Its maybe an ideological problem, because in official version it is shown as a very bad time, without money and work. And then Lukashenka came and made beautiful country as we’ve got now. But a lot of people still remember that time. And with them and because of them we decided to make a website with 100 articles about important events from the 90.: political, cultural, social, etc. - You say “it was a time of possibilities”. What do you mean? - The website it’s not just about political issues, but mostly about people. When Soviet Union was crashed, people understood that they could do anything they want, in positive sense. They had very strong motivation. Now, when someone would like to do something, starts with questions like: is it enough right? would I have problems when I do that? In the 90. they didn’t think like that. - How do you work on that project? - It’s about ten people, working more or less actively. We applied for a grant from the Embassy of Nederland in Poland and we started last year. Now we’ve asked experts what was important in that time in their life. We also search in libraries, archives, reading articles, browsing newspapers and collecting them on our website, as well as photos, videos, multimedia. - Who else is speaking on your website? Not just experts, right? - No. For instance, when we were doing article about Minsk Spring, the most cruel period of 1996, we asked not just politicians, but also people, who took part in demonstrations. We got an interview with a person who was in the army in that time, and was sent there among milicy forces, to fight with people struggling for democracy. We really want to find people with different points of view. Now we publish 2-3 articles per week and we plan to finish the project till March. We plan also eight public discussions, exhibition and we publish a handbook for school teachers. When we started talking, a lot of people start to remember that time. And maybe it won’t be very correct, but I think it starts a public discussion about this period. The 90. it was a very successful period, and a lot of people don’t remember that we’ve got successful stories. Belarusian language came to Belarus in the beginning of the 90., contemporary art then was even more interesting than now. We want to show that it’s not so difficult to change our environment and that we did it already once. I think it’s one of the main aims of that project, and the history that we want to speak about.

Yasia 90  
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