Explore Belarusian Culture

In this section, you will find articles on well-known people and places from the Belarusian cultural scene, as well as interesting facts about the past and present Belarus that remain unknown to the Western audience.

Fri, 2007-09-07 10:24

The wave of demolition sweeps over the country...

In about a week Minsk will celebrate its 940’s birthday. Although probably the word “birthday” is totally inappropriate in this case. It was, in fact, the doomsday of the Belarusian capital, which happened in 1067. The first mentioning of Minsk in the ancient chronicle describes the city’s demolition during the battle between the warring Slavic dukes. Since then, it seems, destroying Minsk has become some kind of a perverted tradition. Eastern and Western powers often solved their disputes on the Belarusian soil. However, the recent history shows that Belarusian authorities can be just as barbarian as the uninvited foreign guests.

Tue, 2007-07-10 15:13

The Independence Day parade in Minsk is a grotesque sight. Held annually on the 3rd of July, the event attracts huge crowds of people and usually begins with a military show featuring roaring tanks, swooping airplanes, and the perfectly groomed soldiers juggling their rifles. They are followed by the acid-red tractors, combines, seeding machines and other farming mechanisms. In authoritarian Belarus the sowing and harvesting campaigns are still regarded as “the battles for the crops”. Then come the sportsmen. Ice-hockey players on rollerblades are playing the non-existing puck, tennis players are swinging their rackets at imaginary balls, wheel-mounted yachts are rolling down the asphalt road, strange figures on stilts act as chess pieces and, as the climax of the action, several dozens of athletes form some kind of vase with their bodies, which is slowly waving its tentacles. Pop singers are opening their mouths in accordance with the pre-recorded soundtrack, transmitted

Belarusian singer Alesya is performing a concert for Bat'ka (“For Bat'ka” is a slogan on the billboard behind the singer)

Fri, 2007-07-06 17:15

***

It is a city which has no memory of itself, but whom I remember wherever I go. I cannot live without it, but with it, I cannot live in peace. I drink it, like one drinks salted water. And I cannot drink it over. It doesn’t clench my thirst and does not let me sleep at night; it is demanding, but it does not promise anything in return. But should you be one day with it, it would not let you go away and if it did, it would come back to you in dreams and would call for you to come back to it.

photo by Jef Bonifacino

Wed, 2007-06-27 11:36

The pastoral aesthetics has spread through the Belarusian literature like a long-lasting epidemic, rivalled, perhaps, only by the literary recollections of the World War II. Used to cliché-laden stories, the school pupils are usually quite reluctant to get their hands on the first book of the epic „The Ears of Rye under Thy Sickle“ by Uladzimir Karatkevich. However, what sounds like a good title for a kolkhoz love story, appears to be an elaborate trap. Having once opened the book, one has a real difficulty shutting it.

Thu, 2007-06-14 12:30

The front man of the rock band “N.R.M.” inspires the young generations of Belarusians.

 

What does it take to make a revolution? If it has to take place in the hearts of a generation, then basically all you need is a guitar. Some talent won’t hurt either. And if you have just a fraction of Lyavon Volski’s charisma, then it should be enough to rock the nation.

Thu, 2007-06-07 14:48
There is a sea in Minsk. No, it’s not this pitiful lake on the north-western outskirts of the Belarusian capital. There is a real sea, which is filling the broad Avenue of Independence with its mighty blue waters. You can even see a snow-white sea cruise liner casting anchor near the Empire-style tower of the KGB headquarters. And still, this sea is framed, put behind glass and hung on the wall in a small exhibition room of an independent art gallery “Padzemka”, which is situated literally under ground, one storey below the main Minsk street. Artur Klinau, a tall man in elegant spectacles, the author of this photo collage, is drinking coffee in a tiny back room of the gallery. He is leafing through his new book titled “Minsk: die Sonnenstadt der Träume” (‘Minsk: the Sun City of Dreams’).

Pages