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VISEGRAD FOCUS: Belarus - Presentation of Belarusian Literature in Brno

VISEGRAD FOCUS: Belarus - Presentation of Belarusian Literature in Brno

During the World of Books fair in Brno, there will be responses to Belarusian participation in it, debates are foreseen at the Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University.

Video from project



Monday 27 September 2021

1:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Authors' Reading Marathon
Goose on a String Theater

In the Reading Marathon to the Brno audience, we will present contemporary Belarusian artists. The first block of authors will introduce the Russian poet Dmitry Strocev (recent winner of the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation Award) and the poets Sabina Brilo and Tania Skarynkina, who write in both Russian and Belarusian languages. The first block is followed by three authors of prose books - Eva Vezhnavets, who is also an acclaimed journalist, performer Illya Sin and translator and editor Alena Kazlova (writing under the pseudonym Anka Upala). The third block includes prominent poetic personalities Taciana Niadbaj, Kryscina Banduryn and Siarhei Prylucky. At the end of the Marathon, culturologist Maxim Zhbankov and poet, translator and essayist Andrei Chadanovich will present their work.

We would also like to invite you to the closing ceremony of the entire Marathon at 8pm, which will be concluded by DJ Liquid A with his music production.

BLOCK 1: 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Dmitry Strocev, Sabina Brilo, Tania Skarynkina  
Moderated by: Jakub Liška             

BLOCK 2: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Anka Upala, Illya Sin, Eva Vezhnavec 
Moderated by: Eva Klíčová                 

BLOCK 3: 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Kryscina Banduryna, Taciana Niadbaj, Siarhei Prylucki     
Moderated by: Jakub Liška                         

BLOCK 4: 5:45 PM – 7:30 PM

Maxim Žbankov, Andrej Chadanovič, Alherd Bacharevič, Julja Cimafejeva
Moderated by: Eva Klíčová                        

8:00 PM
Dj Liquid

Closing Ceremony / Meeting with Belarusian Authors and Music Production DJ Liquid - A Just Music / Foundation Music / Plain Music


Tuesday 28 September 2021

4:00 PM
Opening of the exhibition Square of Changes
Goose on a String Theater, courtyard

The series of photographs called Square of Changes was created by Belarusian artist Jauhen Atcecki as a still open, time-lapse photographic documentary of a place where locals spontaneously met and demonstrated against the current undemocratic practices of the Belarussian government. More similar places have arisen in Minsk and other cities. Atcecky's photographs capture the atmosphere and events of the anti-government protests that erupted throughout Belarus after the rigged presidential election on August 9, 2020. Since then, the photographic documentation of Square of Changes, a plot between tall prefabricated houses, where the windows of the photographer's apartment also point, has been created.

As part of the Brno program, the opening of the exhibition will take place at 4 pm in the outdoor areas of the Center for Experimental Theater (Elizabethan Stage).


Wednesday 29 September 2021

7:00 PM
Film Screening: COURAGE
Scala Café Bar

Screening of the film Courage introduced by Maxim Zhbankov
Director: Aliaksei Paluyan
Germany, Belarus 2021 | 90 min.
Language: Belarusian, Russian. Subtitles: Czech

For fourteen years, the Belarus Free Theater has subjected Lukashenko's authoritarian regime to bold criticism in its performances. However, at a time when the country is at a crossroads, the functioning of the theater is more endangered than ever before. The struggle for creative freedom and freedom of speech in Belarus finds itself at a turning point. The perseverance and courage of thousands of protesters who call for change and democracy have so far come across the same persistent state violence and arrests with which the oppressive regime is stubbornly trying to stay in power. What will be the future of the members of the independent Belarus Free Theater in the coming days and weeks? The whole country is now becoming a stage on which everyone is forced to take a role in the real struggle for the future shape of Belarus.

Maxim Zhbankov (Максім Жбанкоў, born in 1958 in Minsk) is a publicist, film critic, cultural analyst and journalist. He studied classical philosophy at the Belarusian State University, in 1986 defended his dissertation as a candidate of philosophy and then taught at his alma mater. From 1992 to 2012, he led the legendary film club at the Peramoha cinema in Minsk. He teaches at the Belarusian Humanities University in Lithuania and at the Belarusian College and collaborates with various independent media. He has published the books NO STYLE. Belarusian Culture Between Woodstock and Harvest Festival (NO STYLE. Белкульт между Вудстоком и “Дажынкамі”, 2013) and SloMo. Domestic Critique of Cultural Design (SloMo. Атняя крытыка культурнага дызайну, 2021). Spheres of his interest include the current cultural situation and the transformation of cultural matrices in the post-Soviet space. Maxim Zhbankov's texts are translated into Czech, German and Polish.



Program dramaturgy: Miroslav Oscatka, Syarhey Smatrychenka, Petr Minarik

Presenting artists: Andrey Chadanovich, Eva Vezhnavec, Dmitriy Strocev, Tanya Skarynkina, Anka Upala, Siarhei Prylucki, Maxim Zhbankov, Illya Sin, Sabina Brilo, Kryscina Banduryna, Taciana Niadbaj, Siarhei Ablameika, Siarjejkev Zalajš Max Shchur.

Visual solution: Nela Klimova (graphic design), Matej Sykora (scenography)

Media contact: Vanda Kosulicova,

The project is implemented by: Center for Experimental Theater, Embassy of Independent Belarusian Culture

Implementation team: Vanda Kosulicova, Marie Hvozdecka, Amalie Bulandrova

Acknowledgments: Radovan Auer (Book World), Tomas Kubicek (Moravian Library in Brno), Dora Vicenikova (Na Zabradli Theater), Michaela Silpochova (DOX Center for Contemporary Art)

The Focus on Belarus project will take place under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

The Focus on Belarus project was financially supported by the Moravian Regional Library.

The Focus on Belarus project is co-financed by the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad grants from the International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to promote the ideas of sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

More information about the Visegrad Focus: Belarus project can be found on the website of the Center for Experimental Theater.

The following partners are involved in the implementation of the project:

Рэспубліканскае грамадскае аб'яднанне "Беларускі ПЭН-цэнтр / Belarusian PEN Centre


Stowarzszenie Kultura na Granicy / Association “Kultura na granicy“

Terra Recognita Alapítvány/Terra Recognita Foundation