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Belarusian culture under pressure: film screening and pop-up exhibition

Katsiaryna Endruszkiewicz / Unsplash
Katsiaryna Endruszkiewicz / Unsplash

With the strong growth of the Belarusian diaspora since 2020, a lively Belarusian art and culture scene has also developed abroad. We shed light on their situation in exile.

Thursday, 20 June 2024 06:00 pm – Thursday, 20 June 2024 09:00 pm

This event is in the past.

Since the protests in Belarus in 2020, thousands of artists and cultural workers have left the country. In exile, they continue their art and cultural projects and thus support Belarusian civil society structures and the survival of Belarusian culture abroad. Almost four years after the protests, we would like to talk about their current situation: What support are they receiving, and from whom? What challenges remain or have intensified after the years in exile?

As part of the VisiBYlity project, three short documentaries have been produced that accompany and portray Belarusian people in Germany: The photographer Ales Piletski, the poet Dmitri Strotsev and the linguist Maryna Antaniuk-Prouteau.

We cordially invite you to our film screening and subsequent discussion, which will be accompanied by a pop-up exhibition of contemporary Belarusian art.

Place and time

The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, 20 June from 6.30 to 9 pm. There will be a reception and refreshments from 18.00. The event will take place in Germand and Belarusian with translation.

The subsequent pop-up exhibition will run until Saturday 22 June and will show selected works by Belarusian artists alongside the video installations.

The event and the accompanying exhibition will take place at SomoS Arts (Kottbusser Damm 95, 10967 Berlin).

Праграма на беларускай мове


VEHA archive. Independent Civil Photo Archive / „Najlepšy bok“

VEHA — a self-organised initiative that unites different social communities in the study and preservation of vernacular archival photography as a cultural heritage and one of the key elements of the invisible history of Belarus. The VEHA platform is the creation of a horizontal memory institute. The exhibition will feature photographs from the archive, "Najlepšy bok" (THE BEST SIDE) collection.

Uladzimir Hramovich / "The Memory of People Lasts Forever"

“Here is a part of something old and here’s a part of something older, it's quite common to forget, then to remember and try to collect everything from scratch.
Interpretation, narration, recollection. Romantic ruins. The most famous and the closest example of Palmyra is the Maskoūski bus station in Minsk.
Obedience to the strong, heavy memories of the weak.


My optics are like that, I'm all for ghosts, for flashing pictures, that are different and always stay together.
For “mute” images and expressive material. Concrete, granite, rocks.
You turn around, and they’re standing in a row, staring at you. I want pictures to go up and up, to look and remain silent“.

Olga Yakubouskaya

Olga Yakubouskaya's pictures show reality as a fairy tale - the cats are the good guys and the wolves are the bad guys. Her more than 200 illustrations to date are drawn in such a friendly style that they could also adorn a children's book. In terms of content, however, she tells of brutal beatings, violence, humiliation and death in prison - and above all of courageous, unbreakable people who fight for freedom and justice in their homeland. In Yakubouskaya's world, the cats embody the peaceful protesters of Belarus and the wolves the armed forces of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.


18:00 Reception

18:30 Screening of the documentaries

19:15 Talk

  • Vera Dziadok, Curator of the Belarusian programme, Goethe-Institut in Exile
  • Andrei Karalevich, Director & Regisseur
  • Maria Savushkina, Editor & Producer
  • Ales Piletski, Photograph & Journalist
  • Olga Yakubouskaya, Artist

20:30 Closing with Reception

The visit of the exhibition is free.

Please register below for attending the event.



About the VisiBYlity for Belarusian democratic actors project: Capacity building, advocacy and research for more attention for the Belarusian diaspora in the German and European public: these are the core contents of VisiBYlity.

Image copyright: Katsiaryna Endruszkiewicz / Unsplash