This photo pretty much sums up my work in Belarus. Belarus is headed by the last dictator in Europe and while there are extreme limits on organizing, freedom of assembly, political competition, and most forms of expression, there are also remarkable efforts moving forward led by citizen advocates who are trying to shape their country and move it toward a more democratic and inclusive path. It may take awhile, but times they are a changing!
In that spirit, a great new resource has emerged, ePramova, which is an online space where Belarusian citizens meet representatives of political parties and public organizations to discuss what Belarus should be like. Half the battle in autocratic, authoritarian or oppressive regimes is to keep talking, keep visualizing what is possible, keep cynicism at bay and find ways to instill faith that step by step change is possible.