Belarus opposition leader to deliver the Havighurst Lecture this fall
Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies welcomes Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the 2020 Belarusian opposition leader.
The Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies will welcome Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the 2020 Belarusian opposition leader, to campus on Friday, Sept. 22, to deliver the annual Havighurst Lecture.
The event will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Shideler Hall 152. Her visit is co-sponsored by the Menard Family Center for Democracy.
Tsikhanouskaya became the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement in 2020 and challenged the authoritarian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko in the presidential election held that year. When Lukashenko declared victory after widespread voter fraud, Tsikhanouskaya became the face of the protests that swept the country, the largest since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Forced into exile, she now lives in Vilnius, Lithuania, where she heads the United Transition Cabinet, the decision-making unit for the democratic forces of Belarus.
Tsikhanouskaya has visited numerous countries, met with heads of states and other world leaders, and advocated for the release of political prisoners still held in Belarusian jails. For her efforts, she has received the Sakharov Prize awarded by the European Parliament, the 2022 International Four Freedoms Award, and the Charlemagne Prize. In 2021 and 2022, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and members of the Norwegian Parliament respectively. Read more about Tsikhanouskaya on her website.
“We are honored that Ms. Tsikhanouskaya has agreed to visit Miami at the end of a planned visit to the United Nations,” said Havighurst Center Director Stephen Norris. “Her visit is a reminder that ordinary citizens continue to fight for democracy in Belarus and elsewhere in the region.”
Founded in 2000, the Havighurst Center has welcomed a number of prominent speakers to deliver the annual Havighurst Lecture. Last year, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov gave the annual address. Previous lecturers include former Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, and Nobel Literature laureate Herta Müller.
The 2021 Havighurst Lecture was virtual, featuring poet Valzhyna Mort, artist Rufina Bazlova, and scholar Sasha Razor speaking about the Belarusian protests.
Tsikhanouskaya’s lecture this year will take place during a two-day symposium co-sponsored by the Havighurst Center and the Humanities Center on “Writing, Living, and Teaching Exile” that will welcome several prominent scholars to campus. Her talk will also form part of the Menard Family Center’s “Citizenship and Democracy Week.”
The Havighurst Center’s Lithuania Program, which has sponsored many events related to that country, has also been instrumental in arranging Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s visit. More information about her can be found using the following links:
- “The Accidental Revolutionary Leading Belarus’s Uprising” by Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker (Dec. 2021)
- “Who is Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Belarus’s Unlikely Opposition Leader?” by Megan Specia, New York Times (Aug. 2020)
- 2020 CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour