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"Liberty Library" Makes History For Radio Svaboda

Belarus -- Liberty Library 10th anniversary presentation. Minsk, 06Jun2012
Belarus -- Liberty Library 10th anniversary presentation. Minsk, 06Jun2012
A festive June 8 celebration in Minsk marked a decade of the Liberty Library series, a collection of Radio Svaboda's diverse programming in book and electronic form.

Launched to complement RFE/RL’s Belarus Service radio broadcasts, Liberty Library began with the publication of Poems on Liberty in 2002 and now includes about 35 titles. The series boasts a wide variety of works including memoirs, essays, poems, and historical anthologies, all exclusively in Belarusian. While the Arrow Flies is one of the most recent titles added to the series and answers 100 questions on a variety of topics submitted by Svaboda audiences.

Dozens of people filled the Art-Base gallery for the 10th anniversary event in an evening of prose, poetry and song. Past Liberty Library authors Vyachaslau Rakitski, Uladzimier Arlou, and Pyotr Sadouski, former Belarusian Ambassador to Germany, each read excerpts from their work. Singer Lyavon Volski, who hosts Radio Svaboda's weekly show Sauka & Hryshka, had the audience singing along with his better-known hits.

At earlier events throughout Belarus, more than 400 people were introduced to the series and received copies of Liberty Library publications.

Among the works that will soon be published as part of the Liberty Library are: "Majstrounia," a history of one of the Belarusian freedom movement's seminal organizations; a portrait of jailed human rights defender Ales Byalatski; and "Reporter's Notebook", an account of the 2011 Minsk metro bombing.

-- Kate Leisner