The Belarusian Freedom Day was marked by a number of cultural events in Brussels. The holiday, celebrated on the 25th of March, commemorates the Belarusian People’s Republic, proclaimed in 1918. The Freedom Day is traditionally ignored by the Belarusian authorities on one hand, and widely celebrated by the Belarusian opposition on another. Last year’s Freedom Day was a culmination of the street protests in Minsk. Screening of the documentary film “Ploshcha” (‘the Square’) by the famous Belarusian dissident film director Yury Khashchavatski took place on the 24th of March.
The screening was followed by the concert of the Slovak singer Petra Jordan. The concert was held as a sign of solidarity with Belarus. The event proved to be a real success: the concert and the film were visited by more than 70 people.
The film by Yury Khashchavatski studies the backgrounds of the protests in Minsk in March, 2006. “Ploshcha” evoked a wide range of emotions among the viewers – from laughter till indignation. The screening was concluded by a lively discussion about the future of Belarus and its people.
Petra Jordan’s concert was a truly European one in its nature: performing her songs in English, the Slovak singer appealed to the audience for solidarity with the Belarusian people.
“Without the Velvet Revolution we wouldn’t have got anything”, - Petra Jordan said to the audience. “I’m here today, which would probably not be the case, if we had not gone through that. I’m passing the message to everyone, who is out there in the audience to pass it to all the other people – you are going to have a great concert tonight, but there is still a dictatorship, the last one in Europe, and it is in Belarus. We should let the people know, that there is a time for a change, and the change would be coming soon”.
These events were organized by the Office for a Democratic Belarus and were hold under patronage of the Delegation on Relations with Belarus in the European Parliament.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Slovak delegation in the EPP-ED group in the European Parliament also provided significant support to the project.
It is necessary to emphasise, that the Office for a Democratic Belarus decided to mark the anniversary of the March’2006 protest by cultural actions in the first place.
The events were united under the title “Minsk. Kalinouski Square. March 2006”. Thus, the photo exhibition about the post-election protests of March 2006 was unveiled on the 14th of March. The Free Theatre (Minsk) performed in Brussels the same day, presenting the public its plays “Being Harold Pinter” and “Generation Jeans”.
In the future, the Office for a Democratic Belarus will continue to implement innovative cultural project with the objective to create a new image of Belarus abroad.