About project

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Vol’naja dumka (eng. The Free Thought) is an alternative education cooperative consisting of a library, a discussion club, movie screenings, presentations, lectures, language courses etc.
Our main aim is to provide resources and space for studying radical theory.

The library functions since 2011, and the first name of the project was “Rebel Studies Library”. It had been around under this name until the end of 2013. Then the project was renamed for “The Free thought” as a result of leaving of one of the founders.

The library offers books, magazines and DIY zines on the vast variety of topics. There are books of significant thinkers who made considerable contribution into development of human thought: famous philosophers, sociologists, writers etc. Yet, the accent is made on the critical-oriented books, which are one way or another refer to the ideas of emancipation: anarchism, leftist radicalism, existentialism, marxism, feminism, queer, counter-culture, dystopias, etc.

Today the catalog of the library is represented by more than 1650 entries. As a matter of convenience, all the items are sorted according to subdivision of subjects: Philosophy, Sociology/anthropology/economics, Psychology, Fiction, Education/pedagogics, Theory, Religion, Gender Studies, Cinema, Belarusian shelf/ecology, Counter-culture, Practice, Magazines/DIY-zines/comics. The books are mainly in Russian, but there are also many in Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, English, Dutch, French, Italian and Arabic languages.

The sources of library’s funding are readers’ donations, contributions of the members of the collective and donations on behalf of the independent publishers (Radical Theory and Practice, Hylaea, Common Place, Samoopredilenie, Biblioteka imeni L.N. Tolstogo, ШSS, Pryamuhinskie chteniya, etc). We appeal to everybody for sharing the literature for public use.

The project is non-commercial and the participation is voluntary-based: none of the collective receives money for work, and the result of this work is free of charge.

The following rules of the library are established:

  • the books are given for the term of three weeks (the term can be renewed or extended), those who don’t return the books back in time are deprived of the right of using the library;
  • to take a book a reader writes down the contacts into the journal of the library;
  • the books that are given to the library as a present are not returned (there can be exclusions).