Summer in Belarus has proven to be hot in all senses. Political tension, which was obvious in the pre-election period, was supplemented by social tension, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation was worsened by escalating government repressions. All these events pulled even the apolitical Belarusians out of their usual rhythm of life and pushed them to express their opinions.
Under these conditions, the Belarusian artists’ reaction wasn’t far behind. A prominent example is the opening of the Art Belarus Gallery with QR codes instead of paintings by famous artists from the collection of one of the presidential candidates. Why without the paintings? Because they have been seized by the government.
This is the way in which Belarusian art responds to reality with its own language, despite censorship, human rights and liberties infringement, a kind of cultural vacuum.
What is happening with human rights in Belarus? How is censorship putting pressure on art? How does Belarusian reality affect the neighboring countries? And what happens to the lives of the artists in Belarus who do not stay silent and protest using art?
- Oleksandra Matviychuk, Chairwoman of the Board of the Centre for Civil Liberties. Ukraine.
- Mikhail Gulin, artist, performer, curator. Belarus.
Moderator: Andriy Kulykov, journalist