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Alexijewitsch, Swetlana

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 24/04/2006

20 Years after Chernobyl

"An old woman in a village I was passing through asked me: Is this supposed to be war? The sun is shining; the birds are singing – and suddenly it became clear that our entire culture of terror was a culture of war. Bombs, grenades – we knew about them. But this was different," Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich recounts in an interview. "We are undergoing a transformation from being a civilisation of fear to being a civilisation of catastrophes. Progress has become dangerous, for both humankind and nature. Hurricanes and floods are causing losses as great as those the wars once caused. Belarus lost a quarter of its population in the Second World War. Today, however, one in five Belarussians is suffering from the consequences of Chernobyl, and a third of the country is contaminated. We can't read the message Chernobyl sent us – it's in a language we don't know. None of the great writers has dealt with this subject, nor has any philosopher. Chernobyl lies beyond the boundaries of culture."

Göteborgs-Posten - Sweden | 07/04/2006

Svetlana Alexievich on Belarus's close bond with Russia

For over 200 years, Belarus has maintained close ties with its Russian neighbour, writes Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarussian author currently holding a scholarship in Gothenburg. "Russia is neither a geographical area nor a nation, but rather an idea, a state of mind; a never-ending and unfinished project that feeds on myths and creates new myths about itself at the same time. It's difficult to tell what the future will bring, but one thing's for sure: Belarus's future depends on Russia and the course it takes. Those who want to save Belarus must do this by influencing Russia because Belarus is turned towards Russia, not Europe."

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