Belarus: Ukrainian writer apprehended and banned from entry

Belarusian security agents apprehended Ukrainian writer and poet Serhiy Zhadan from his hotel in Minsk in the middle of the night of 11 February 2017, detained him overnight in a prison cell and ordered him to leave the country by the end of the day, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on 11 February 2017. Zhadan, […]

Ukraine: Belarusian singer denied entry due to Crimea concert

Belarusian singer Max Korzh was denied entry into Ukraine on 17 February 2016 where he was due to go on his five-city tour in the country in early March, reported BBC Ukraine on 26 February 2016. While organisers said the tour would be postponed until later in the year, press secretary for Ukraine’s security service […]

Sweden: Freemuse Award ceremony 2016 in the Eurovision Village

Two Freemuse Award winners shared the stage when Lavon Volski received the 2016 Freemuse Award in Stockholm on 8 May 2016. The event took place on stage in Stockholm’s Kungsträdgården – which currently has been transformed into the ‘Eurovision Village’. “Belarus has a winner, but…” Stockholm city hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, the world’s […]

Belarus: Lavon Volski is a free man in an unfree country

Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Belarusian rock musician Lavon Volski has been one of the most influential cultural personalities in his country fighting for freedom of artistic expression. In May 2016, he is being honoured with the Freemuse Award 2016. By Ingo Petz For more than 30 years now, Lavon Volski has been creating rock and […]

Freemuse Award Winner 2016 is Lavon Volski

Lavon Volski, an icon of Belarusian rock music, is the winner of the 2016 Freemuse Award. His songs are anthems of those who dream of a democratic and free Belarus. Thus Volski since many years has been on the regime’s infamous “black list” of artists never played on national radio and banned from performing. The […]

Belarus: Soccer fans detained for singing song deriding Russian president

A court in the Belarusian capital Minsk has imprisoned eight Ukrainian football fans after they sang an insulting song about Russian president Vladimir Putin. According to police, 41 fans were detained after the Belarus versus Ukraine European Championship qualifier match in the Belarusian city of Borisov on 9 October 2014. Eyewitness accounts in Belarusian papers […]

Freemuse to UN: Belarus should explain censorship

In a Universal Periodic Review submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Freemuse argues that Belarus is failing to abide by its international commitments to fully protect the fundamental artistic freedoms of its citizens. “Belarus should take active steps publicly to document and explain its censorship policy – not least its communications with media […]

Belarus: Minsk authorities banned Amaroka band concert

Officials have refused to issue a touring certificate for a concert of Amaroka. The musicians were explained that their art could be treated as war or extremism propaganda and pose a threat to national security. Head of the Department of Culture of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Vitalina Rudzikava, has officially prohibited a concert by […]

Belarus: Outspoken musicians endangered

In May 2014, the Icehockey World Championships will begin in Belarus, and the government of Alyaksandr Lukashenka will do its best to ensure that fans and tourists experience Belarus as a “normal” European country. Lavon Volski is a musicians who wants to “rock” that facade of normality. With his new album he has decided to […]

Belarus: Blacklisted musicians play abroad

Today a number of prominent Belarusian musicians face serious difficulties when they want to perform for the Belarusian public. Playing concerts in neighbouring countries is one of their solutions. Giving concerts in Belarus has become more difficult for many artists. The Belarusian authorities consider them a threat to the regime. In their songs, some bands […]

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 […]

Belarus: Feature film about repression and censorship

A unique film about the arbitrary repression in Belarus was screened in Stockholm on 20 March 2013. Unique because it dramatises the suppression in a way which for instance a documentary would not be able to. The film’s title is the Belarusian opposition slogan. It’s called ‘Viva Belarus!’ and is about the young rock musician […]

Poland: Belarusian exhibition censored in the last minute

A Belarusian outdoor visual arts exhibition in Warsaw underwent serious censorship. Representatives of the Belarusian embassy removed nine paintings because they found them ‘inappropriate’. The Belarusian version of the exhibition, entitled the Zabor art project, was displayed on a fence in Minsk in the summer 2012, but less than an hour before the exhibition was […]

Belarus: Video statement about the situation for arts

Piotr Kuljeu, founder of Art Siadziba, an independent cultural centre in Belarus, made this statement about the situation for arts in Belarus During Trans Europe Halles Meeting 74 in Gothenburg, Sweden, Piotr Kuljeu, founder of Art Siadziba in Minsk, Belarus, got a phone call. He learnt that the KGB had closed his independent cultural centre […]

Belarus: Blacklisted rock musician speaks about censorship

Freemuse interview with musician Lavon Volski, a guitarist and vocalist of the group Krambambula The Belarusian singer and musician Lavon Volski gave an exclusive interview to Freemuse about the current repressions of the Belarusian regime against the independent music scene in the country which since 1994 has been governed by president Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Volski, born […]

Belarus Free Theatre: Strong criticism of repression in Belarus

“Everything has changed for the worse,” said Natalia Kaliada, exiled co-founder of the Belarus Free Theatre, in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian about the escalating brutality in her homeland. “New arrests are taking place. New people are going to jail for long-term sentences. Even rock concerts are banned in Belarus. Nothing has […]

Belarus: Trial of pro-opposition singer-songwriter

Pro-opposition singers Igor Simbiryov and Dzmitryy Bartosik were arrested during an open-air performance near Minsk on 6 May 2012, the Belarusian news agency Belapan reported on 7 May 2012. According to opposition activist Yuryy Hanchar, policemen brought the musicians and some spectators to a police station in the town of Zhdanovichy in Minsk Region. “After […]



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