Journal article

Nelly Bekus (2017)

Constructed ‘Otherness’? Poland and the Geopolitics of Contested Belarusian Identity

Journal Europe-Asia Studies
Number/Volume 69: 2 (2017)
Page references 242-261

ISSN: 0966-8136 (Print), 1465-3427 (Online)

The rise of Belarus to political independence has required it to delineate its cultural boundaries in-between two 'Others'—Poland and Russia. This essay explores a range of portrayals of Poland in Belarusian cultural artefacts, including television programmes, film, novels, and theatre performances—from the image of an 'Other' that threatens Belarusian identity, to the main ally supporting the European choice of Belarusians. Examples from Belarusian cultural texts analysed in the essay show how representations of Poland are grounded in selective and ideologically driven interpretations of Belarus's own past, while their coexistence reveals the contested nature of the geopolitics of Belarusian identity.