2020 Belarusian protests
Janna Akimova, Ashique Ali T, Priyank Chandra
This project explores the role of technology in promoting transnational solidarities, fostering community formations, and resistance against the authoritarian regime in Belarus.
In the aftermath of the August 2020 presidential elections in Belarus, a nationwide social movement shook the country to its core. Furious with the overwhelming victory of the longstanding President Alexander Lukashenko, who secured an 80% vote share, hundreds of thousands of Belarusians rushed onto the streets to voice their anger over what they saw as blatant electoral fraud. The Belarusian government responded with a brutal crackdown, including arresting opposition leaders, journalists, and peaceful protesters and using violence and torture against detainees. However, despite the state repression, the movement persisted with various protest tactics, civil disobedience and significant participation from the Belarusian IT workers and diaspora communities, who played a crucial role in developing “Belarusian civic tech” and facilitating digital resistance (Ziniakova 2022).
Our project delves into how technology has played a crucial role in promoting transnational solidarities, fostering community formations, and resistance against the authoritarian regime in Belarus. Specifically, we explore how technology has played a crucial role in enabling a re-imagination of a Belarusian future, despite the challenges posed by an adaptive authoritarian regime (Frear 2018). By examining the intersection between technology and social movements, we aim to contribute to a better understanding of how digital tools can be leveraged to support social movements in authoritarian contexts.
April 2023 Status Update
Analysing interview data</p>