“Incubator for Cooperation”: Work with Experts

Over a week, on February 15-21, 2016, experts were holding trainings and lectures within the framework of the initiative “Incubator for Cooperation (Initiatives for the Sustainable Development of Bragin district)” implemented as a part of the project “Support to Local Development in the Republic of Belarus” financed by the European Union and supported by the United Nations Development Programme.

Work was carried out on various topics and with activists of different age. A series of lectures on the district’s history and rehearsals of the performance within the framework of a mini-initiative “Museum Theatre” was held at Bragin Historical Museum with Art Gallery where the district’s theatre traditions had been revived.

On February 15, Lyudmila Skakun, the project’s experts, told about the situation in Bragin, events and the power balance in domestic and foreign policy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In a day, on February 17, there was a lecture on the topic of “The Role of the Vishnevetskiys in the History of Bragin” given by Stanislav Cherepko, the Head of the Department of World History of the History Faculty of Gomel State University n.a. F. Skorina, a candidate of historical sciences. During the lecture, the audience could learn better about members of the Vishnevetskiys, their achievements, the period of ownership of Bragin and the legacy of the family in the town. The topic provoked a large number of questions related to the probable heritage of the Vishnevetskiys, in particular, a fragment of the castle’s wall and the park of the XVIII century, as well as events related to such figures as False Dmitriy and Marina Mniszek.

Information covered in the lecture allowed the audience to understand better the overall situation in the state of those times, motives and actions done by various historical figures, to get acquainted with characters of the Vishnevetskiys and their circle, which, according to participants’ opinion, helped to work on characters for the performance and rehearsals which were held every day throughout the week. During theatre meetings, the participants of the mini-initiative and experts, Tatyana Shilova and Anna Vygonnaya, discussed the literary material, got acquainted with characters, outlined roles, built a scenographic line and proceeded to the selection and creation of costumes and scenery. The play “Historical Bragin District” will be performed as planned during the festival, which was to be held in May.

In those days, Sergey Nekhaychik, the organization’s volunteer and an ecologist, was carrying out a cycle of classes on environmental issues in Bragin and Komarin secondary schools. During an introductory class, pupils learnt about the concepts of “green economy”, “organic farming’, and also learnt more about the soil as a main component of “ecological” agriculture. The second class was experimental. The children were asked to do a research of the soil for the level of acidity, content of iron and nitrites, a research of the water for the presence of iron and nitrates, and one more of the food for the presence of nitrates. During the class, the children learnt about the soil acidity, the maximum permissible concentration of substances, and also understood the importance of doing such researches.  The last class was ornithological. In the introductory part of the class, the pupils learnt about reasons of ornithological records, initial knowledge of an ornithologist, the equipment necessary for observation, and the rules of conduct during an ornithological excursion. During the excursion, the children followed their own routes: the first group went through Komarin village and approached to the Dnieper, the second one went through Bragin town and approached to the Braginka. Both groups observed birds living in the area of observation. The children were inspired by those excursions, showed keen interest in birds and their monitoring, and told about a desire to hold independent observation.

Meeting with the experts were very intense and fruitful and no doubt gave a good impulse for active independent work of the initiative’s activists.

See photos