Belarus: Cultural censorship as state policy | Index

Keeping tight control over every sphere of social life is the general policy of the Belarusian authorities. This is true not only about politics, economy or media; arts and culture face censorship as well. Zmitser Yanenka reports from Belarus.


Zmitser Yanenka’s article contains three sections:

Music: to “black lists” and back
• Interview with Aleh Khamenka, a frontman of a famous Belarusian folk-rock band Palac, about the reputed ‘black lists’ of banned musicians and a new Presidential Decree, signed in June 2013, suggesting an organiser of any concert must receive a special permission in a local Department of Ideology.

Cinema “spoilt by censorship”
• Interview with Yury Khashchavatski, a Belarusian director, about how censorship has ruined the film production in Belarus, and how the censorship goes far beyond production.

Theatre: Online performances vs. censorship
• Interview with Nikolay Khalezin, art director of Belarus Free Theatre, about how police stops actors from performing, and how online broadcasting of performances receives thousands of viewers.

“Why are the authorities so afraid of independent artists? The answer is quite simple: Art is dangerous for the authoritarian regime, because it turns obedient population into real citizens.”
Yury Khashchavatski

Read the article:

Index on Censorship – 31 October 2013:
Belarus: Cultural censorship as state policy

Related reading

Freemuse report no 7:
‘Hidden Truths – Music, Politics and Censorship in Lukashenko’s Belarus’
88 pages. By Lemez Lovas and Maya Medich

Read the report

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