The Independence Day parade in
through the loudspeakers. And, above all this faked splendour there is Alexander Lukashenka with his stern smile, hugging a girl with red-and-green bows who is clutching flowers sent to the president “by the grateful people of
Better than anything else, these parades reveal the essence of the official culture in the „last European dictatorship“. This is a primitive pop-product for the masses, serving to transmit simple ideological messages like „
The parade is just one example of the official cultural production in
Then there is a big concert with the president attending.
Who is performing during these concerts? Among the rising stars is Polina Smolova, former soloist of the
Another name is Irina Dorofeeva, who has sung during the open-air concert in front of the National library in
(Irina Dorofeeva, official web-site:http://www.irinadorofeeva.com/en/)
There are also old „stars“, such as „Siabry“ music group. Its frontman, Anatol Yarmolenka, performed quite a number of hit songs during the soviet times. Then, during the early years of the Belarusian independence, he sang to the lyrics by Zyanon Pazniak, who is now the opposition politician in exile. These days, together with his daughter Alesya, who shocks the public with her short dresses, (Alesya video: http://www.alesya.by/video.php) Anatol Yarmolenka performs the song called „Listen to Bat’ka“. „Bat’ka“ means „father“ in Belarusian, which also is the nickname of president Lukashenka. The song’s lyrics speak for themselves:
Bat’ka can put everyone in order,
Bat’ka is cooler than the rest.
He will solve all the troubles
With a single movement of his hand,
He is reliable and confident.
Just a look at him is enough to understand
who’s the master of our house.
LISTEN TO BAT’KA!“
„Listen to Bat’ka“ video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2s2XenL7N4
(“Syabry”, official web-site: http://www.syabry.com/)
Among the high-rollers of the official culture there is omnipresent Mikhail Finberg, conductor of the National symphonic and variety music orchestra, who takes part in practically every single official concert and in any possible state ideology initiative. He also seats in the parliament and even flaunts his shining smile in TV-commercials. There is also Angelica Agurbash, former model, now happily married to a
(Angelica Agurbash, official web-site: http://www.agurbash.com/)
In fact, the European pop song contest is something of a national sport in
Eurovision competition like astronauts on a space mission. Despite all the effort, these attempts have been rather unsuccessful. The last Eurovision contestant from
(Dmitry Koldun on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcCZa3Am7IU)As you see, the official culture clearly puts an emphasis on music and other types of shows, with other spheres being rather neglected. The cinema is stagnating, the state-owned theatres can’t stage innovative plays due to the state supervision. The regime tried to put literature under its control by forming the loyal Belarusian union of writers, headed by the former policemen officer Mikalay Charginets. However, the state support didn’t help its members to start writing good books. In such conditions, the pop music remains the only major source of ideological influence, combined with shows, sports and television.
Oh yes, we forgot about the aggressively advertised state lotteries, which had become something of a nationwide mania in
Photo by www.gazetaby.com
Photo by www. nn.by
Irina Dorofeeva (photo by www.nn.by)
Irina Dorofeeva (www.irinadorofeeva.com)
Alesya (photo by www.alesya.by)
Angelica Agurbash (photo by www.agurbash.com)
Dmitry Koldun (photo by www.nn.by)
Photo by www.president.gov.by
Ales Kudrytski for the Office for a Democratic