Not only the country that this book is about has a beautiful name that reflects its unique character and disposition, it also to this day remains a white spot on the map to many.
“What is this country?” is a surprised reaction of a westerner that one might hear when Belarus is mentioned in a conversation. Unavailable to the English language reader, publications on the history of Belarus conceal from the outside world the story of the nation whose residential territory exceeds in size the area of some European countries.
Following the fall of the Soviet Union on December 9th 1991, a new sovereign state with Minsk as its capital took its rightful place among others on the world map as part of the political union between independent nations, including Russia and Ukraine.
Throughout its history, Belarus has been continuously included in various state formations such as Kievan Rus’, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Poland, the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. Lubov Bazan’s book is a detailed narration of all these meaningful milestones in the life of Belarus. The book is built on the factual material that is delivered to the reader chronologically in an attractive and systemic fashion.
The author chooses to provide the reader with a leeway for an autonomous analysis of the historic material, indiscriminately allowing for the exposure to all presently available concepts on the matters of such theoretical discussion triggers as the Belorussian ethnogenesis, the origin of the Belorussian language, ethnic identification and national awareness of the Belorussians, problems of the Unia between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.
The book is aimed at historians, slavists, students and popular science readers, interested in the history of white spots on the world map.
Lubov Bazan, a historian, art analyst and translator, was born in Belarus where she graduated from the Faculty of History at the Pedagogical University and the post-graduate School of Art at the Academy of Science. Following her graduation, she worked as a research associate at the Vitebsk Historical Museum and professor of the History of Art at the Institute of Technology.
In 1988 Lubov Bazan became the director of the Vitebsk Municipal Art Gallery, at the same time working as the television writer and hostess of TV shows about art.
In 1991, under Bazan’s supervision, Belarus saw an exposition of Marc Chagall’s work, the first of its kind in the country at the time, featuring over a hundred paintings by the previously banned in the communist state artist. After the exposition, Lubov Bazan became actively involved in the creation of the Marc Chagall Museum in his native Vitebsk, eventually assuming the position of the museum’s director.
Since 1997 Lubov Bazan lives in the Netherlands where she lectures on history, history of the Russian Art and Russian Iconography. She authored multiple articles on subjects of history, culture and art. In 2011 she translated into Russian the book “Pyotr’s Borscht” by Dutch novelist José Hennekam.