The Hidden School - PhMuseum

The Hidden School

Alessandro Vincenzi

2011 - 2012

With the outset of Perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, many former republics faced the task of restructuring and redefining their educational systems.

On the 6th of December 1990, in the Belorusian capital Minsk, the first evening classes started in what would become by 1992, the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum.

The country's most prestigious school, composed of around 500 students, was where at the start of every academic year, the Minister of Education gave a speech.

In 1994 when Aleksandr Lukashenko won the presidential elections, problems started to surface, as some of the programs and teaching methods did not fit in with the Presidents views. Meanwhile, the fledgling school had already begun contacting schools from France, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania to promote student exchange programs.

In 2003 an intention to replace Uladzimir Kolas, who had been the school's head from the start, by a Russian speaking principal, was made by the Authorities as a way to change the Belarusian language and the reviving Belarusian culture into Russian. Teachers, students and parents protested against this but to no avail. By the end of the year the school was banned.

Activities continued in private apartments, but this did not last long as the authorities constantly threatened them. They then moved to the basement of a catholic church but after 3 months and immense pressure on the priest, they were forced to leave.

In 2005 Belarusian Humanities Lyceum reached a stable situation, settling in a house on the outskirts of Minsk and supported by the polish government, receiving tuition in Poland and scholarships to graduate students for polish universities.

Today about sixty students and a little more than a dozen professors attend lessons in classes ranging from 9 to 15 students.

In 2011, the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum was officially registered and recognized at the University of Gdansk in Poland.

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  • Ivan, 15 years old, a student of the second class of Belarusian Humanities Lyceum, located on the second floor of the building, before cleaning his class. Becoming part of the school was their parents choice and he is happy. Once he will complete the Lyceumshe he will move to another country for University, probably Poland.

  • Belarusian literature professor during a lecture at the fourth class of the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum.

  • Domenica 15 years in the bus heading home after a day of school at the Belorussian Humanity Lyceum. She doesn't know yet what she will once that her time at the high school is over.

  • Boys of the first class of the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum while playing in the garden of the house during the break between one class and the other.

  • Detail created by students to decorate some of the rooms of the school.

  • Mikita, 14 years old, in his class. To enter in the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum it is was his choice and once finished he will go probably to Poland to study mathematics.

  • An old car parked in Minsk city center.

  • Students of the second class of Belarusian Humanities Lyceum, located on the second floor of the building, while waiting for a teacher.

  • Students of the second class of Belarusian Humanities Lyceum, located on the second floor of the building, while waiting for a teacher.

  • The outskirts of Minsk, where the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum is located.

  • Some of the students while going to school early in the morning. For some of them reach the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum means about 2 hours of travel between bus and train.

  • Minsk city center, characterised by wide streets and little traffic.

  • Two professors of Russian and Belarusian literature in the cuisine of the school during the class change.
    Some of them did not want to reveal their identity for fear of repercussions.

  • Students of the first class of Belarusian Humanities Lyceum, located on the second floor of the building, during english lesson.

  • Urban settlements where 80% of the city population lives. These structures begin as soon as you move away from the center of the capital.


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