People in Need and the Prague Civil Society Centre at Forum 2000

People in Need & Prague Civil Society Centre panel discussions

Online response to offline repression in the post-Soviet region
Monday 14 September, 14.00-15.30, Goethe Institute, Masarykovo nábř. 32, Prague
Participants: Emin Milli (Azerbaijan), Galina Timchenko (Russia), Bektour Iskender (Kyrgyzstan), Philipp Dzyadko (Russia)
Languages: English and Russian

Across the post-Soviet region, authoritarians have recently become harsher and more sophisticated in cracking down on civil society through new repressive laws, massive government media propaganda and surveillance of civil society.  Where the opportunities are shrinking in the physical world, civil society leaders develop innovative projects that use the opportunities offered by the still relatively freer online world. Bringing together four leading activists and journalists from Russia, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan, the panel will discuss state-of-the-art online civil society projects, spanning from education to media, as well as coping strategies in ever more repressive environments.

Nature of education systems in authoritarian regimes
Tuesday 15 September, 14.00 – 15.30, Goethe Institute, Masarykovo nábř. 32, Prague
Participants: Tamara Matskevich (Belarus), Muhammad Tahir (Turkmenistan), Ivan Kurilla (Russia), Altay Goyushov (Azerbaijan)

One of the fields under the sole control of authoritarian regimes is education. Education of young generation to love the Motherland and the President is crucial for these regimes to stay in power. Education systems in these countries are therefore subject to ideological and often nationalistic influence of the ruling elite what brings to creating armies of its followers. The main “threats” for these systems include critical thinking and access to unbiased information.  These threats could be easily reduced by control over the education system. The panellists will give us insight into forms of abuse of education systems by authoritarian regimes in Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia and Belarus.

Russian influence on educational systems in the post-Soviet space
Tuesday 15 September, 15.45 – 17.15, European House, Jungmannova 24, Prague
Participants: Taus Serganova (Russia, Chechen Republic), Volodymyr Kazarin (Ukraine, Autonomous Republic of Crimea), Alyona Marchkova (Moldova, Transnistrian region)

In order to survive, undemocratic regimes need the support of masses of loyal citizens, which should be raised since the childhood. Contemporary Russia is not an exception to this rule and it successfully follows the proven Soviet tradition, even beyond its own territory. One example is the program “Russian School” financed by the Russian government and aiming to “influence the worldview and the intellect of children and youth in accordance with Russian cultural traditions and moral values” and to “create the conditions for the formation of a new and loyal generation abroad”. How can this Russian doctrine affect the education systems in the wider region?

Other panel discussions:
Under (Press)ure
Monday 14 September, 11.15 – 12.45, Langhans People in Need Centre, Vodičkova 37, Prague

Russia: changing the European mindset?
Monday 14 September, 15.45 – 17.15, Goethe Institute, Masarykovo nábř. 32, Prague
Participants: Kenan Aliyev, Grigory Yavlinsky, Konstantin von Eggert, Jakub Kalensky, Jerzy Pomianowski

Lopez, Ismayilova, Maher: jailed for thinking
Monday 14 September, 17.30 – 18.45, Žofín Palace, Forum Hall, Slovanský ostrov 226, Prague
Participants: Ales Bialiatski, Leila Aliyeva, Steve Crawshaw, Lilian Tintori

Crimea – forgotten peninsula?
Tuesday 15 September, 14.00 – 15.30, European House, Jungmannova 24, Prague
Participants: Zair Akadyrov, Fedor Kravchenko, Andrii Shevchenko

1989 (film screening)
Tuesday 15 September, 15.45 – 17.45, Austrian Cultural Forum
Participants: Film Director Anders Ostergaard

Russian propaganda
Wednesday 16 September, 15.00 – 16.30, Antiquarian bookshop Fiducia, Ostrava
Participants: Lubomir Zaoralek, Grigory Yavlinsky