Oksana Solopova: "Diasporas in Russia treasure what they have"
The international program "Days of the history department of the Belarusian State University (BSU) at the history department of Moscow State University (MSU) named after M.V. Lomonosov", which continues the implementation of the long-term program of academic cooperation between the history departments of the two leading higher educational institutions of Russia and Belarus, has opened in the MSU yesterday. Deputy Dean, Academic Secretary of the history department of Moscow State University, head of the Diaspora History Laboratory, Associate Professor of the Department of History of the near abroad, Chairman of the NGO 'Belarusians of Moscow', candidate of historical sciences Oksana Solopova, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, told about the need for such events.
- How did the idea of holding such inter-university meetings arise?
- This program was invented by Belarusians. A year ago, the first Days of the MSU history department at the BSU history department were held. It was magnificent - all our leading professors had an opportunity for holding public lectures, meeting students and Belarusian professors. We could not but return the favor. They are our very close partners, who are dear to us because of both the university's historical school, and the roots, and the specifics of comprehension of historical science, its non-conflict and unpoliticized development. We invited our Belarusian colleagues to the days of the history department of the BSU at the history department of MSU and tried to make the program interesting for both students and serious professors, heads of departments, deans of faculties who came to us.
An important part of the program is a scientific conference to study the problems experienced by modern historians working in the system of university education, in the teaching of historical science in general, in methodology, in working with sources, the availability of library funds, the possibility of communication of the scientific community. These are the issues of the formation of new schools and the preservation of old university schools, questions of continuity, the preservation of contacts between Russia and Belarus, between scientists and historians.
- At what level are these contacts now?
- We are in special conditions. Our contacts are systemic, permanent and very friendly. This does not mean that we have no conflicting views, but they are all scientific and practical. These are not fundamental differences that can divide us and create obstacles for our communication. All our disputes are for the good of science.
- What does the Inter-university Days program include?
- The Russian-Belarusian competition of students-historians titled 'The Common Path to the Great Victory' is being held within the framework of our event. We have already held it in Minsk, in Moscow, again in Minsk and now again in Moscow. The competition is dedicated to the memory of the common Victory in the Great Patriotic War over the common enemy. Historians of all specialties and all directions of development of historical science participate in it. This year, this competition brought together students from the Moscow State University and the Higher School of Economics from the Russian side, and from the Belarusian - students of the Gomel University, the Mogilev University and the Belarusian State University. About 30 people are admitted to the on-site tour. They will present their projects tomorrow at the site of the MSU history department, will become laureates or winners of the contest, they will be awarded by the national cultural autonomy 'Belarusians of Moscow': for the best work on the history of Belarus to a Russian student, for the best work on the history of Russia to a Belarusian student. In addition, a prize will be awarded for the best work on the common Russian-Belarusian history. Thus, we tried to participate in the development of student youth contacts.
Within the framework of this program, several exhibitions will be opened. One of them is absolutely exceptional. It is supported by the Department of National Policy and Interregional Relations of the Government of Moscow and is called 'The Peoples of Moscow for Moscow'. It unites architectural monuments and sculptural compositions created by representatives of different nationalities in the territory of our capital and which form the modern architectural image of our Moscow. It will also present objects made by Belarusian, Kazakh and Armenian architects and sculptors - three countries of the EEU.
The support of the Belarusian embassy, the NGO 'Belarusians of Moscow', the embassy of Kazakhstan and the Armenian diaspora united us and the MSU around this project, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of the Belarusians in Moscow and the Day of National Unity on November 4. We will hold an exhibition of amazing Belarusian embroidery. Our colleagues from the Gomel University, from Dagestan arrived. So, this project united many regions of Russia at the MSU site. This is a real holiday not just for science, not just for education, but also for good people who miss each other, who want to communicate and who have an opportunity to combine emotional impulses and their very precise professional attitudes without any risks, without constraining themselves, being just who they are.
- At the ceremonial meeting, a document was signed on the establishment of a master's program, which includes, among other things, the study of diasporas. How relevant is this issue today?
- To date, the strategy of the Russian national policy says very clearly that interethnic friendship, interethnic accord, interethnic peace is the cornerstone, historically the most important element of Russia's foundation. This was repeatedly said by the president of our country, this is understood at the level of the Moscow government, which actively interacts with different national associations. The history of Russia is the history of the nation-state with the numerical domination of the Russian people, which imagining the unity of our existence, the unity of our language, the unity of our view of life. Nevertheless, no one is forbidden to preserve their language and their national culture as part of Russia's culture. Russia grows in cultures and peoples. This is a historically exceptional example of how it should be. It does not mean that there are no difficulties, there's no need to idealize it. But today we are able to solve these difficulties together. The role of public national cultural associations is extremely high here, they are actively involved in the national policy of the state, clearly understand their vision and task. Not because someone formulates or puts this task, but because they feel it. They feel themselves part of great Russia and fulfill all their aspirations, needs, national and cultural demands freely, that's why they cherish what they have.
The history department's contacts with national cultural autonomies are of an extremely important historical nature, because the preservation of information about the current realities, the creation of the Diaspora archive of the MSU history department is our supreme goal. We are systematically engaged in it. We have already created personal archives of several heads of public organizations, archives of national-cultural public associations are being formed, bachelor's and master's works on this theme are being written. Our students have the opportunity to work with personal archives, archives of the NGO. These prospects are endless.