SESAM [Small European Students of Architecture Meeting] Ex Nihilo is a ten-day educational event which includes seminars, lectures, workshops and entertainment. It is an international architecture meeting, open to students and architects from all over the world. The SESAM site is free of formalities: students and professionals communicate, share knowledge, make friends and learn new things together.
The event is organized by Belarusian Architecture Students Association with support of Ministry of Architecture, Authorities of Vitebsk region, Belarusian Union of Architects, Belarusian Union of designers and Minsk Urban Platform.

Belarusian Architecture Students' Association together with Belarusian Union of Architects, Belarusian Union of Designers and local community of villages Čareja and Bielaja Carkva (White Church) continue to develop cultural projects whose aim, is students' and specialists' creative and professional development.
International architecture school SESAM EX Nihilo is an unprecedented event in architectural, design and educational spheres in Belarus. Not only Belarusian and foreign students together with professionals will exchange experience and skills, but will realize mutually created ideas, while integrating Belarus into a global market of architectural design.

Geodesic Geometries

Tutor: Gianluca Stasi / Crtl+Z
Country: Italy, based in Seville
Concept: Ctrl+Z proposes a theoretical / practical workshop which aim is to make participants live the stimulating experience of direct construction of a geodesic dome, from common elements possibly used or new pvc windows blinds or wooden pallets style tables.

Tutors: Bebis Ilia, Depasta Lida
Country: Greece
Concept: The ALTER is willing to truly alter the current state and use of the Trinity Church. The new altar is not anymore a non-space, but an active space of the Peninsula. Its perforated surface makes it seem almost immaterial, letting the light and the surrounding landscape enter through its series of frames.


Tutors: Alexandra Polyakova / Louis Currie
Country: France/ Ukraine based in Germany
Concept: Roller-Booth is a moveable booth, on wheels, which moves towards people, events and activities. The Roller Booth is a new space to experiment, explore and highlight the surroundings of Bielaja Carkva, Čareja village and surroundings. It adapts to festivities and positions itself perfectly toan ever changing surrounding, serving a wide range of purposes for locals and visitors.
We would like to invite the participants to develop the key details of the Roller-Booth. How it should look in detail to match its surroundings, which activities could we initiate to kick off it's use. How we can use the booth to connect with the locals to inspire them to use it in their turn. We're sure the ideas are endless and we look forward to the creative sparks of our bright minded participants.


Tutors: Joonas Parviainen, Brett Mahon
Country: Finland, Northern Ireland
Concept: Intuitive design only comes about when the participator first becomes the observer. Dream-It is a workshop which aims to provide a platform for participants to contextualise and build their own designs. Collaboration is essential and only achieved when barriers are broken; when we connect with each other and our surroundings.

The workshop is divided into two parts, first part consisting of scouting the villages and their surroundings, finding our own secret places there and documenting them by drawing. Then we will be adding something imaginatory to these images, like outdoor furniture, a small pavilion or a swing, and for the second part we will select which of these small designs to actually build!

Flexible space

Tutors: Elaine Bonavia, Sabine Vecvagare
Country: Malta, Latvia, Bsed in Stuttgart
Concept: The aim of the workshop is to make a dynamic, adaptive architectural installation appear out of thin air in the Belarussian wilderness. The nature of building is permanent and static: for generations, humans have continuously impacted the land to make way for their homes, workspaces, leisure centres and so on. Our building skills have advanced from impermanent straw shelters to infinitely tall sykscrapers heavily grounded to the earth. Our buildings stay forever, but the people inside them do not.

The installation aims to enliven the towns of Čareja and Bielaja Carkva through a dynamism that is believed to be more present in architecture. The tutors with their participants would try to remove the echoes of emptiness that resound within the vast landscape within which this SEASAM takes place, to introduce animation, interaction and movement out of a simple, lightweight, parasitic sculpture.

Four Wrong Words
2.5 days workshop

Tutors: Exorcist Gesamtkunstwerk (Ilya Sin, Pavel Voinitski, Evgeni Rogozin)
Country: Belarus
Concept: The main aim is to understand the cultural landscape of the demolished former greek-catholic monastery in a new way. What we can and what we can not do in those conventional conditions? Problem of the direct interaction with the space (in our case — quite specific space) is supposed to create an idiosyncratic playground for the young architects, which, in its turn, is subordinate to certain conditions.
We are going to explore historical space as a place for interaction in the frames of 2.5 days workshop.

Dome Ex Nihilo

Tutors: Andrea Aleksić, Igor Rajković
Country: Serbia
Concept: Dome Ex Nihilo is a temporary structure - a new circular stage for live performances under a light string dome. Inspired by the SPRAVA festival, dome is a project proposal for both the growth of the event into a multi-stage festival and a platform to be used all year long for different cultural events. Constellation of glowing nods exalts over the tumult and music as it vaults over the circular stage embracing the people under it.

Reciprocal Landscape

Tutors: MONOGROUP (Nataly Nemkova, Aliaksandr Khadzyakou, Yana Sukhostkaya)
Country: Belarus
Concept: The location of the event is a beautiful and unique place. When making any intervention there one should think of local conditions: landscape and people. The plan is to create a place where people can meet, have a space to sit and rest and talk to each other. This will result in an exciting landscape sculpture that would fit into local conditions.

Catch the moment

Tutors: Ivanov Mikhail, Kryuchkova Kristina, Kuznetsova Olga
Country: Russia
Concept: Modern life is an endless movement, the rises and falls, ups and downs. It is flying swings that carry us up to the beauty slipping behind the wall of life's difficulties. And not so often we manage to catch a moment and even catch a glimpse of what is hiding behind this wall.


Tutors: Katliarski Ilya, Lemiashonak Anastasiya
Country: Belarus
Concept: During the workshop the participants will design and build a floating platform for a picnic on the lake with all necessary equipment that you need for happiness.


Tutor: Varga Bettina - Evelin
Country: Romania
Concept: In all of its essential characteristics, a traditional house is equal to that found in children's drawings. They are both rudimentary, determined by minimal expression and maximum clarity of relationships: it is clear what is inside and what is outside – such houses are based on themselves and they are adaptable to everything outside of themselves.
This exercise contributes to a better understanding of the potential of rural landscapes to recover their role as places for genuine dwelling. The process will engage different strategies, ranging from concepts from various philosophical horizons to more specific typological studies. The main aim of this workshop is to create a series of stories, based on real intrigue and a spark of imagination. Each one of the participants will "adopt" a house of their liking and through a series of discussions, research exercises, they will each "personify" the house, define its character, based on its history, related by dwellers or others. They will explore possibilities of happened events and possibilities of future utopias. Each participant will be required to create 1page/day respecting the given theme and to mold their new character into a creative graphic narration.
The main idea (on the long run) is to publish a book containing the participants' illustrated stories; to show the world the potential of such places as the two villages, to raise the locals' morals, to dig really deep into the secrets and precious moments of the villages' lives.

Sauna to go

Tutors: Djordje Zdravkovic, Ivana Petrovic
Country: Serbia
Concept: The workshop will be based on construction approach. During the period of 10 days, tutors with their participants will build a small, mobile sauna. Quietness and a peaceful surrounding of rural landscapes would contribute to a real pleasure during sessions in the sauna in different locations of Čareja and Bielaja Carkva.

Revit and hookah

Country: Belarus
Concept: One more 3day workshop from our lovely sponsors. Scanning rural buildings, driving drons, converting, reconstruction, BIM and hookah!


Tutors: George Zaborski, Valeria Khripatch
Country: Belarus
Concept: Every object of design sets a trap by presenting a problem in the form of what appears to be ts solution (c) Tim Ingold
Meditate, move, think, rethink, stop to think, design or not design, to explore

practices to experiense, undarstand and change unbuilt / built space

beyond common practice of architecture / design / activism


Čareja- Bielaja Carkva (White Church)
Čareja is known in history since 1464 when a monastery was built there. In the end of 15th century the village became one of the most important Sapega's family estates and in 1599 The Holy Trinity Church was built in a nearby village Bielaja Carkva which has been preserved to these days.
In 2017 the festival SPRAVA was held in Bielaja Carkva and in 2018 a cultural centre and an art residence will be built in Čareja.

1-10 May, 2018
Accoring to the data from 2013, more then 2/3 of population of Belarus are currently living in towns and cities. Number of people in villages is getting smaller and smaller each year — schools, kindergartens, libraries and cultural centers are closing.
In the middle of a boundless field, one hundred people will search for something that may return village to society and vice versa, and build that from scratch
on their own.
- lectures by historians, anthropologists, sociologists and architects;
- workshops;
- final exhibition and festival involving the local community.
Participants will get an opportunity to explore Belarus which is not urbanized, learn how to work with local communities, investigate landscape and learn how to work with territory and do not harm its natural beauty and ecological integrity.
Festival of music and land-art.
Participants - 100 students+ 30 tutors and coordinators, 500 guests.

Our guests
Dj Pogodina


They closed SESAM Terra incognita 2016 and symbolically will open SESAM Ex Nihilo 2018!
Roman Zabiello
Raman Zabiela - our precious lecturer, is enthused about things he does! Architect- renovator, social volunteer, master of architecture, Architecture faculty professor in BNTU. He hеld an honours degree BNTU in Belarus and Krakov's polytechnic in Poland with programm "conservation of old monuments of architecture und urbanism".With a small paint piece or plate can detail about a building, it's sectrets and construction period. He knows all about history of architecture and reversion, and like nobody else, does whatever it takes for preservation of architecture und urbanism monuments in Belarus. Also he has wrote planty of architecture renovation projects all over our country, and Kuropat's memorial co-author. On SESAM Roman Zabiello will share hid expierence and entertaining information.
Wait with impatience for you!
Tatiana Kozlovskaya
Tatiana Kozlovskaya knows all the legends, mysterious stories and real facts about Chareja and Belaja Carkva (White Church). Tatyana is our guide. She manages a rural library, and for almost two decades has been searching for information about Chareja history and its famous people. She conducts extensive correspondence, seeks information in the archives, writes down memories of compatriots and participates in the annual Oscar Milosh readings that take place in Minsk.
For many years Tatiana dreams that the center of the former Chareja principality, Sapieha and Milosh residence, will finally become an attractive object of domestic and foreign tourism. Then many people will have an opportunity to get acquainted with fascinating pages of our history. Looking forward to learn the centuries-old secrets of these places and explore the unknown!
Lo-fi sound and texts about love and loneliness, recorded in a studio or on a staircase of khrushchovka, remind us of the indie-era, which never existed here. Fyodorovich come, sing and drink for love.
Polatsk band "Varhan" live in accordance to old belarusian traditions. They collect real folk music, which would be completely lost without them, reconstruct traditional rutuals, teach folk dances and sing traditional songs themselves
The performers of the technoblues INTELLIGENCY will create a wonderful dance mood on our SESAM 2018 platform!
Boris Boignard
Boris Boignard is our excellent French chef, who will not leave anyone hungry. He cooks for friends, helps to organize holidays and celebrations and participates in various festivals. At the same time Boris Boignard's cafe usually pulles ahead of competitors by populousness at the counter - what could be seen at the SPRAVA festival.
He got started as a bartender in France, later he was a sommelier, and then worked as a chef, including in a restaurant with Michelin stars in Chamonix in Savoy.
Local vocal group and our inspiration
Mirokolitza — team who sing, dance, play and organize fantastic and atmospheric parties. The whole team will visit us on SESAM and play a night full of techno and fire. Get prepared...
Aleg Sivagrakau
and "ANTI-Urbanocene"
Ph.D. in Economics. Expert on local and regional sustainable development, strategic planning, ecology, and green economy issues. More than 20 years of experience as manager. His book "Local Agenda 21 in Belarus. Member of International Rural Parliament (IRP) and PREPARE Network (EU), and Board Member of the Civil Platform "New Village", Belarus.
Theme for discussion: Anti-Urbanocene: Is It Possible?
Presentation includes:
Basic concept of sustainable development
Rural – Urban Development: Challenges and Possibilities
Local Sustainable Development Strategies (in Belarus)
Discussion with element of village vision development, participatory
In one of the evenings we will go to the historic site - the linden alley of Milosh. We put on tailcoats, we'll drink wine there, walk under the arm and dance to the notes of oxtrot, jazz, swing and much more!
Andrej Bielarecki
historian, public figure, expert on historical and cultural activities. Over 10 years he has been working on projects on the return of cultural property and achieved great success. Andrew to share his experience and tell the informal history of Belarus, the villages, people, their remains, their homes and the places where we will sow the results of the work of our hands and minds!
How to apply for SESAM:
Competition task: Poster (or brief concept) on the topic "Rural utopia / rural distopia". Format — jpeg/png image (no pdf, please). Add a description (combined with motivation letter) up to 500 signs.
Our partners
If you are interested in becoming a partner or sponsor, please feel free to write us.
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