Shades of Protest: Online discussion on the role of art in a protest movement

12 August 2020

Protests sparked by distrust in the results of the presidential election are continuing in Belarus. The biggest demonstrations have taken place in Minsk, Grodno, Lid, Vitebsk, Brest, Mogyliov. The protests in Minsk and Brest on the night of 11 August were dispersed by the law enforcement, using rubber bullets, tear gas, pneumatic weapons and stun greases against the protesters. For today, we know about one protester who was killed, over 2,000 arrested, dozens of missing or arrested journalists.


The whole world has been following the situation in the country. The Ukrainian human rights community has already expressed their support for the Belorusians in their right to protest, freedom of expression and freedom of speech: “Regardless of where the regime threatens human liberty, the methods of protest suppression and photos from the location are always the same. And that is why they evoke painful associations. People who came out, peaceful and unarmed, with demands for the Belorusian government, had stun grenades thrown at them, rubber bullets fired, and water cannons pouring water on them. We went through this ourselves a few years ago, and we should be the first to support the Belorusian civil society,” noted Oleksandra Matviychuk, the head of the Center for Civil Liberties NGO.


Our first season on is dedicated to Belarus. As a part of it, we invite you to watch the film Pure Art and to join an online discussion of the problems that concern the Belorusian society today.


On 14 August at 7 p.m., we invite everyone to participate in the online discussion Shades of Protest: How does art help in the struggle for human rights, involving the Belorusian artist Mikhail Gulin, the human rights advocate Oleksandra Matviychuk, and the journalist Andriy Kulykov. The conversation will be dedicated to infringement of human rights and liberties in Belarus, censorship and art, the life of artists in Belarus, who do not keep silent and protest.


“We must be prepared to defend our independence, shared and individual, for a long time and with hard work. We must be sure of success. For this, we need to know as many ways and means to protect independence as possible. Learn from the experience of others and teach others about our experience,” comments Andriy Kulykov.


The documentary Pure Art can be watched at until the end of August. The film is available all over the world.


The online stream of the discussion can be watched in the original language (Russian) on the festival YouTube channel, and with simultaneous interpretation in Ukrainian on and the Docudays UA Facebook page.


In addition, the discussion will be streamed on the Facebook pages of Hromadske Radio, ZMINA, Nakipelo.

April 2021