May, 2022

Sakharov Month, Kaunas, May 2022

In 2022 the Lithuanian city of Kaunas is European Capital of Culture, and the Andrei Sakharov Research Center (ASRC) at Vytautas Magnus University is planning a series of events that are part of the European Capital of Culture program. They are also related to the Centennial of Andrei Sakharov and the 50th commemoration on May 15, 2022 of Romas Kalanta’s self-immolation  protesting Soviet occupation of his country..

May 2022 – Vilnius / Kaunas
“I am no Sakharov, but…” Campaign

In May Kaunas will be the focus of the campaign ‘I am no Sakharov, but…”  It will demonstrate the view that anybody has a role to play in defending pluralist freedom and tolerance in society. Simultaneously, “Andrei Sakharov – Man of an Era”exhibition will be on view at the Vytautas Magnus University.

May 3-29, 2022 – Vytautas the Great War Museum
Exhibition “Kaleidoscope of Opposition to Communist Rule”

Throughout May “A Kaleidoscope of Opposition to Communist Rule”  exhibition will be held at the Military Museum in Kaunas located  in the city center by the main campus of the Vytautas Magnus University.  It will focus on the independent unofficial press as voice of freedom of thought and expression through four main components:

  • The production and dissemination of samizdat
  • Vilnius as a center for independent press
  • Jan Palach, Ilya Rips, Romas Kalanta and others who protested through self-immolation
  • Solidarność during the period of martial law in Poland and the flurry of new forms of samizdat and protest

The rationale of the exhibition is to remember and show how opposition to Communist rule was expressed, stimulated and maintained, and yet how the quest for freedom managed to stay alive against all odds. For the younger generations  and grown up after the demise of Communist rule the exhibition will be a special encounter with the time when their parents were facing seemingly unchangeable limitations on their lives. It will also serve as a powerful reminder of the gross violation of fundamental civic and human rights guaranteed by the Soviet Constitution and the Covenants ratified by the USSR. 

May 13-14, 2022 – Vytautas the Great War Museum
Twelfth International Sakharov Conference: Forgiving or Forgetting – Dealing with a Painful Past

On May 13-14, the Twelfth International Sakharov Conference will be held in Kaunas with the theme Forgiving or Forgetting: Dealing with a Painful Past, during which an international group of experts will discuss several historical and relevant themes, including the reunification of Germany, the current deliberate distortion of history by the Russian authorities and the recent crackdown on Memorial, the Srebrenica massacre in 1995, and the psychological consequences of state repression in non-democratic former Soviet republics. The conference takes place on the eve of  the 50th anniversary of Romas Kalanta’s self-immolation, to be commemorated on May 15, 2022.

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Andrei Sakharov Research Center
Daukanto 27, offices 304-307
44249 Kaunas, Lithuania

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