UW Jackson School of International Studies M.A. student Chris Collison is currently on a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship (FLAS) at the Belarusian State University in Minsk, Belarus. Chris is also exploring the country with his camera and the deep regional knowledge he has gained in the Jackson School’s Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies program (REECAS) and the Ellison Center at the University of Washington.
“For much of its history, Minsk has found itself at the crossroads of civilizations. Belarusians are well aware of the past and embrace their heritage as a transit hub for merchants and warriors who traversed Europe as the borders of various empires shifted eastward and then back again. Belarus acquired its current boundaries at the dawn of the Second World War, when the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact paved the way for the German and Soviet invasion of Poland.