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Review of winners’ materials for “Belarus is in the focus” contest

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Among the winners are representatives from Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Great Britain and Belarus.

So, one of the winners between professional journalists became Ardzhemino Barro (Argemino Barro) from Spain, an author of the report ‘Looking for Red October’ (text is available in ENG, ES, FR – ed.). It’s a story about two men, who have bought a few houses in an abandoned village Red October, lost in the farthest lands of Belarus, and were dreaming to turn it into an art-village. A journalist describes their medieval way of life without benefits of civilization, reflecting on what they’ve got and lost by it. But this story is only a background for understanding causes and consequences of that socio-political situation in which is modern Belarus conserved. For example, somehow happened that political activity among Belarusians is the lowest on the continent – 75,9 % of the population do not want to participate in the political life of the country. The author is also seeking answers to the question when and under what conditions Belarusians will be willing to give up the dictatorship and to start changing their country.

The second winner is Lithuanian journalist Indre Vainalavichutie (Indrė Vainalavičiūtė) who wrote an article ‘Waiting for nuclear paradise: the nuclear ghost of Chernobyl wanders the streets of Ostrovets’ (ENG). Ostrovets is a small town that is situated just 25 kilometers from Lithuanian-Belarusian border and 53 kilometers from the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius. And in this city a nuclear power plant was constructing. Lithuanians were not happy about it at all as they gave a firm ‘NO’ in a referendum about construction of nuclear power plant. The author went to Ostrovets  and talked to locals to get to know their attitude towards that construction. One of the residents has said that if the construction of nuclear power plant started than the government believes that it should be like that and in that case locals need it as well. However a woman who has lost her house, relatives and had to go to Ostrovets because of disaster in Chernobyl doesn’t agree with this point of view.

And finally one more prize has got Eva Voitovska from Belarus, an author of the article 'Tractor à la bohème in the shadow of the new order’ (ENG, PL). This article is describing why Minsk less and less looks like a city with history and how monotype ‘faceless’ architecture and unpretentious dwelling is changing the way of thinking of the population, their needs and behavior.

The winners among young journalists became: Eugene Karpov ‘The Hidden Fruit of the Underground’, Ekaterina Przibilskaia ‘Belarus: beggars are prohibited’, Eva Zverzhinska ‘Us from the Kolkhoz’. Professional journalists have received €500 award, beginners - €300 and an invitation to a two-day seminar in Warsaw at the end of March.

We want to remind you that for the contest “Belarus is in the focus” in total were sent 67 materials by 55 authors from 14 countries.

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Among the winners are representatives from Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Great Britain and Belarus.

So, one of the winners between professional journalists became Ardzhemino Barro (Argemino Barro) from Spain, an author of the report ‘Looking for Red October’ (text is available in ENG, ES, FR – ed.). It’s a story about two men, who have bought a few houses in an abandoned village Red October, lost in the farthest lands of Belarus, and were dreaming to turn it into an art-village. A journalist describes their medieval way of life without benefits of civilization, reflecting on what they’ve got and lost by it. But this story is only a background for understanding causes and consequences of that socio-political situation in which is modern Belarus conserved. For example, somehow happened that political activity among Belarusians is the lowest on the continent – 75,9 % of the population do not want to participate in the political life of the country. The author is also seeking answers to the question when and under what conditions Belarusians will be willing to give up the dictatorship and to start changing their country.

The second winner is Lithuanian journalist Indre Vainalavichutie (Indrė Vainalavičiūtė) who wrote an article ‘Waiting for nuclear paradise: the nuclear ghost of Chernobyl wanders the streets of Ostrovets’ (ENG). Ostrovets is a small town that is situated just 25 kilometers from Lithuanian-Belarusian border and 53 kilometers from the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius. And in this city a nuclear power plant was constructing. Lithuanians were not happy about it at all as they gave a firm ‘NO’ in a referendum about construction of nuclear power plant. The author went to Ostrovets  and talked to locals to get to know their attitude towards that construction. One of the residents has said that if the construction of nuclear power plant started than the government believes that it should be like that and in that case locals need it as well. However a woman who has lost her house, relatives and had to go to Ostrovets because of disaster in Chernobyl doesn’t agree with this point of view.

And finally one more prize has got Eva Voitovska from Belarus, an author of the article 'Tractor à la bohème in the shadow of the new order’ (ENG, PL). This article is describing why Minsk less and less looks like a city with history and how monotype ‘faceless’ architecture and unpretentious dwelling is changing the way of thinking of the population, their needs and behavior.

The winners among young journalists became: Eugene Karpov ‘The Hidden Fruit of the Underground’, Ekaterina Przibilskaia ‘Belarus: beggars are prohibited’, Eva Zverzhinska ‘Us from the Kolkhoz’. Professional journalists have received €500 award, beginners - €300 and an invitation to a two-day seminar in Warsaw at the end of March.

We want to remind you that for the contest “Belarus is in the focus” in total were sent 67 materials by 55 authors from 14 countries.

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