An Illuminating Evening: JKPeV Hosts Thought-Provoking Book Reading and Discussion with Dr. Heinrich Kirschbaum
Saturday night, JKPeV hosted an educative and stimulating book reading and discussion with Dr. Heinrich Kirschbaum, author of the new book ‘Revolution der Geduld’. Dr. Kirschbaum is a tall, thin man in his mid-40s, with shaggy hair, and who dresses more like a student than a professor. He specializes in literature science at Freiburg University and despite his German name, Dr. Kirschbaum is of Belarusian origin, which implies that his reasons for writing his new book are as much personal as academic interest. The event attracted a diverse crowd of around 20 people from countries including Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and the United States, and was held at Kulturcentrale, the headquarters of JKPeV. The atmosphere inside was warm and inviting, with low lighting, creating an intimate and cozy ambiance that drew people in as a respite from the cold weather outside.
Dr. Kirschbaum’s book delves into the protests that took place in Belarus in the summer of 2020 and offers a fresh perspective on the events as a “revolution of patience” rather than a singular event. He argues that the protests are a demonstration of the human will for change and self-organization, as seen in the peaceful marches and the solidarity among the people. He also explores how the protests have led to the formation of a civil society beyond sanctioned power structures, using this analysis to reflect on the language, history, poetry, and personal involvement in the Belarusian situation.
The event was truly enlightening, as attendees engaged with Dr. Kirschbaum and his book, sparking a lively discussion among the diverse group. The conversation quickly became intriguing as attendees shared their varying opinions on the ongoing war in Ukraine and the role of other European nations in responding to Russian aggression. Despite the differing views, the discussion remained civilized and respectful, highlighting the importance of having a space for open dialogue and the exchange of ideas.
The discussion was not only informative, but also fascinating as the audience shared their fears and personal experiences, including the difficulties of protesting under severe penalties, the role of media in distributing controversial information and the impact of neighbouring countries in unjust invasions. The audience’s personal anecdotes made the conversation more captivating, and the engaging discussion made time fly by. To add to the emotionally wrought atmosphere, someone suggested bringing out Vodka. The bartender, JKPeV’s CEO Stefan Kiehne, found a small bottle of Ukrainian Vodka whose addition added to the lively atmosphere of the event.
JKPeV is passionate about keeping these types of community discussions alive and encourages more members of the community to attend their events. From book readings to music shows, and art exhibits, JKPeV’s events provide a platform for community members to come together, share ideas, and learn from each other. Hosting events like these is vital for fostering understanding, empathy, and connection among community members, promoting critical thinking, learning and personal growth.
Overall, the event was truly enlightening and thought-provoking, leaving attendees with much to ponder about the ongoing situation in Belarus and the importance of community discussions. Dr. Kirschbaum’s book, ‘Revolution der Geduld’ is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the events that took place in Belarus in the summer of 2020 and how those events continue to be relevant in Europe today. JKPeV is proud to have hosted such an event and encourages more members of the community to attend their future gatherings. Be sure to pick up a copy of Dr. Kirschbaum’s book and join us at our next Kulturcentrale event, where there is no end to great conversations and community engagement.
by Elisia Kuhfuss