The Belarusian Council For Culture
Newsletter / December'22

Dear friends,
2022 is coming to an end. It has been a challenging, stressful time for all of us, a year filled with pain and loss. But at the same time, this year has brought a lot of ideas that we managed to implement.  

The Belarusian Council for Culture is ready to share the main facts about our activities in November — December 2022.

The Belarusian Council for Culture and Danish Cultural Institute have recently announced the project “ArtPower Belarus: Safeguarding the Belarusian Civic Space Through Culture and Arts” backed by the European Union. The overall support from the EU for this significant project is 2 million Euros. This is the first time the EU has included Belarusian culture in its financial aid for the Belarusian democratic community on such a scale. This project and the first steps of its realization have been on the agenda of the press conference we organized in Vilnius.

The team of the Belarusian Council for Culture celebrated the second anniversary. October 1 marks for us the two-year period of work. At first, we functioned as the Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation which arose in response to massive repressions following the falsified presidential elections and a huge wave of protests since August 2020. Later, when establishing cultural processes turned out to be an equally pressing matter along with helping artists individually, we restated ourselves as the Belarusian Council for Culture and broadened our scope of work.

Today, we've got about thirty people on the team of the Belarusian Council for Culture and, for the first time, we are revealing some of those persons behind the organization. As much as we can in the given circumstances, taking into consideration the dangerous risks.

Photo: Coaliția Sectorului Cultural Independent din Republica Moldova (facebook)

Last month was very fruitful for us in terms of international collaboration. The Belarusian Council for Culture team members visited the USA, Moldova, and Ukraine. They took part in educational programmes, conferences, and seminars for cultural management professionals. 

In Moldova, we helped to organize the International Laboratory ”Rethinking the Institutional Design of Project-based Public Funding for Culture in the Eastern Neighbourhood Region”. The Laboratory discussed the process of creation and principles of work of the future cultural fund of the Republic of Moldova. The Belarusian Council for Culture representatives were able to share their experience in creating independent cultural institutions, and the work of assistance programmes. Moreover, they had a chance to learn a lot of important things about the functioning of cultural support institutions in Eastern Europe and the Balkans in a lively discussion. This knowledge will be useful for the Belarusian Council for Culture in the formation of our resource centre for Belarusian culture and its programmes.

The Belarusian Council for Culture was invited to participate in the Belarusian-Ukrainian expert forum named after the Princes of Ostroh in Lviv, Ukraine. The event became a place for a conversation about today’s relations between Belarus and Ukraine, and how the two countries can cooperate in various fields. Among the discussions on politics, media, and human rights, there was one dedicated to cultural cooperation. There, the representative of the Belarusian Council for Culture Irena Kaciałovič conveyed our organization’s position on a common front of resistance for Belarusian and Ukrainian cultural representatives. The two cultures already have a lot in common, so collective work does not have to start from scratch. 

Belarusian Magistrates continue to grow and develop.

A week ago we started the first Magistrate Knihauka which is aimed to help in the organization of a Belarusian publishing house in Poland. The publisher, Andrei Yanushkevich, used to have one of the most successful book businesses in Belarus until it was destroyed by the Belarusian authorities. The man himself had been under arrest for a month but after release managed to leave for Poland after he was released. 

Today, in order to organize the effective work of the publishing house, it is necessary to resolve legal issues, adjust the logistics of the distribution of Belarusian books, form a new team, and regather readers who are currently scattered across different countries. Together, with the help of the Magistrate donation system, we can support Andrei Yanushkevich and his team. 

For now the Knihauka Magistrate — an association of donors who are ready to support the development of the publishing house with a specified amount during the specified period — has united more than 170 people. You can join the community as well.

The analytical group of the Belarusian Council for Culture has presented the new quarterly review of the main trends, conflicts, defeats, and victories we can observe in Belarusian music, cinema, theatre, and literature. Without analyzing the current state of public consciousness, it is impossible to understand what is happening to the nation and how to rebuild it further. 

What’s the most remarkable feature of the cultural process in Belarus? As our experts note, the crucial marker is the continuation of forming two opposite motion vectors: westernization (gradual joining of the European cultural space) and Russification (bureaucratic and enforcement agencies' pressure on the creative class). It's not just the traffic in different directions. It is the existence based on different maps of meanings.

Victory Artists is the media project by the Belarusian Council for Culture dedicated to the people of art who create the culture of New Belarus. They used to paint, sing, and perform in Belarus but today many of them are looking for their future in other countries. 

Here is Lavon Volski’s story. We call him the general of national rock, a living legend, and an icon of Belarusian music. He’s the Belarusian musician, who wrote dozens of hits, and started his musical career back in the 1980s, but remains relevant and in demand today. He’s an artist and writer as well. Now based in Poland. 

Here is Andrei Khadanovich’s story. He’s a poet, translator and songwriter. The man went to Poland for a scholarship a year ago. It was planned to last for several weeks, but the trip became a journey and it goes on today. Now Khadanovich makes educational videos for his YouTube channel, translates poems by Ukrainian authors and dreams of returning to Belarus one day.

The Victory Artists project is over for now. We hope that one day it will have a continuation in the book or a new block of interviews with outstanding people of Belarusian culture. 

Coming Soon
The European Commission's large-scale project "OCTOPUS: Education for Belarusian Children Today and Tomorrow" is to be announced at the beginning of 2023. It will be implemented by the International Consortium EuroBelarus in partnership with the Civil Society Support Fund (Lithuania) and the Belarusian Council for Culture. The project arose from the initiative of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s Office.

OCTOPUS will open up new opportunities for schoolchildren and teachers both in Belarus and abroad. The Belarusian Council for Culture joins this project since we realize the importance and obvious need to provide contemporary education with a focus on Belarusian values to children who, as a result of the political crisis in Belarus, are left without the opportunity to study in their native language and feel daily ideological pressure.

Click here to support Belarusian artists and their projects right now
Visit our website
New Belarus is our joint art project! 
Copyright © *2022* *Belarusian Council for Culture*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

This email was sent to <<E-mail>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Belarusian Council for Culture · Aru 21-8 · Tallinn 10145 · Estonia

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp