ANDREI SAKHAROV: ALARM AND HOPE 2011
CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

 

The international conference titled “Andrei Sakharov: Alarm and Hope 2011” will take place in Moscow on May 20-21, 2011 at the time of the 90th anniversary of Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov’s birth.

 
In the 1960s, Andrei Sakharov formulated his vision of global problems and ways of overcoming them, and his ideas found a resonance with millions of people around the world. Although the concepts outlined in his 1968 essay “Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom” were to be refined many more times, and some concepts were even revised by Sakharov, on the whole, his position remained unchanged and became the foundation for his civic struggle.
 
Today, a similar common explanatory model, or "good theory," does not exist. Perhaps this is the reason for civic apathy, both in Russia and throughout the whole world. The task of intellectuals is to develop a “good theory,” the formulation of an ideal initiated by a public discussion. Undoubtedly, the fundamental values (life, liberty and the dignity of the human being) do not need to be reviewed, but each era demands that they be decoded, read, and actualized in the vernacular. Soon after the death of Sakharov, this era passed, although a new, contemporary language and meaning for these values has not yet been offered to this day.
 
Sakharov’s key words for such an inquiry are “alarm and hope,” and are contained in the title of the Sakharov 2011 Conference.
 
Conference will be organized with support of Commissioner for human rights Thomas Hammarberg, Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, Head of the President’s Counsel for the development of the civil society institutes and human rights Mikhail Fedotov.
 
The purpose of the conference is not only the preservation of the name, ideas, and legacy of Sakharov, but the creation of a relevant, easily-read content, a framing of the issues which will be discussed on the Internet and in “ordinary life,” for example, in the circle around the Sakharov Center, whose important task is to support and sustain the current “thinking segment” existing in Russia today.
 
There are two main principles for the formation of the agenda and the selection of the participants of the conference:
 
- The framing of the problems and the search for answers to global challenges of the modern world, looking from the current moment and history of our country
 
- The common work of alternative thinkers, honest and unbiased (independent and good-willed) intellectuals and civic figures
 
Conference is a part of a block of the actions devoted to the 90 anniversary from the date of a birth of Andrey Sakharov. Among them also are provided^ opening of the exhibition devoted to Sakharov, carrying out so-called “the Sakharov Mayovka” (open-air party for freedom and liberation of all political prisoners), public lecture of physicist André Neveu in honor to Sakharov, etc.