Thinking related issues exist in all areas, at times even unexpected ones.
Last year the Belarusian thinking exploded with bright fireworks of events. Tatsiana Vadalazhskaja, methodologist and sociologist, coordinator of the Flying University, talked about how the Belarusian thinking was formed and what it should focus on in her interview with the "EuroBelarus" Information Service.
- What was the last year like for the Belarusian intellectual community?
- Belarusian intellectual space is definitely expanding. On the one hand, it is very pleasing, on the other hand it raises new questions. Before we could see one or two public lectures or discussion a month, but now there are several of them every week. Today, this independent space is very rich and diverse.
It is of utmost importance that this year there was a lot of attention given to the modern trends issues. Environmental problems of global and local scale, city development issues, topics related to technological developments, covering the IT sphere, artificial intelligence, and the questions of what we will face regarding humanitarian and social challenges.
- The intellectual sphere was full of events thanks to the Year of Belarusian thinking. Will this pace of intellectual life in the country be maintained?
- I think that it will even increase. However, regarding us, we will not be presented in the public space as much as before. Of course, there will be some ideas and projects, but we will look for a little bit different, more in-depth formats.
The life of ideas requires certain environment, infrastructure. Just as there are people who write books, there are publishers, bookstores, printing houses, libraries as well. It is infrastructure. The same is here, when we say that the Belarusians think about their problems independently, it is very important to not only provide an opportunity to think about the issues, but also to discuss these ideas, the existence of the ideas in the discussions, in printed form, etc. This is the general space of thinking that must embrace the whole society.
- That is, "thinking - to the masses"?
- Not "the masses" even but "thinking - everywhere," in the sense of understanding that the issues related to thinking exist in various fields. I think that what adventurously and provocatively called itself the Belarusian thinking before is a separate fully formed sphere today. But we are in the next stage connected to the wider world now.
Quite often, the notions of "thinking" / "not thinking" are separated according to the profession, disciplines or topics. But, in fact, the separation must be done by intellectual tension. Thinking exists only in the actual intellectual effort and not because you have a diploma or have written a book 10 years ago. It is necessary to understand and to feel it, to be open and to engage in dialogue those areas where this effort exists.
- What other plans does the Flying University have for 2017?
- Next year will continue the topics of identity, individuality, relationship between the mankind and the world, technology, future.
- Last yearthe Week of Belarusian Thinking took place for the first time. Many people believe that Belarus should have a festival of national thought. Will there beany other events like that?
- There is no precise plan right now. I'm not sure yet that the Week is that form we would like to work with. Nevertheless, I hope that it will result in additional initiatives that will exist by themselves and offer activities. I do not think it's bad, because search is always good.