We founded belarus free theatre (bft) in 2005 to face in resistance to alexander lukashenkos dictatorship, producing theater that makes noticeable the experiences of often-overlooked belarusian men and women. over time, people in bft have observed the complete spectral range of persecution from belarusian state: dismissal from work, intimidation, beatings, arrests for the entire troupe plus the audience and imprisonment.
Now, equally thousands of people being from the streets, marching resistant to the dictatorship every saturday since the rigged elections held in august, we also decided to take our theatre outside. minsk features countless courtyards, at minimum three times weekly youll discover bft doing truth be told there to large crowds of people of all of the years. (although my children and i are governmental refugees in britain since 2011, we nevertheless direct, show, fundraise and create for bft from abroad.)
As protests have cultivated, belarusians have begun to see their particular true neighbors, perhaps not faces cowed in fear of the regime, while having begun to acknowledge their ownreflection.
Last year, bft developed the phase play find appreciate, empowered because of the real tale of your buddy irina krasovskaya, the partner of one of abducted and murdered governmental opponents for the regime. in 2014, period of women informed the stories of a trio of brave females, every one of who were imprisoned for peacefully protesting the falsified presidential election outcomes of 2010.
Ten years later on, and up against the backdrop of another deceptive presidential election, we chose to revive these two productions in minsk, in which folks are again being arrested and apparently tortured, kidnapped and killed for exercising their particular basic human liberties in opposition to lukashenko, an old army officer that has been belaruss president from the time 1st election after freedom from the soviet union. the regime might not have changed in virtually three decades although individuals have, and we also call-it the revolution of awakening.
It is important to encourage this action and allow all belarusians know that they don't standalone, that individuals all stand strong together.
Courtyards are in which residents turn out each night to co-ordinate programs for future protests. along with numerous musicians also creatives, bft happens to be element of these decentralised belarusian protests. whenever an innovative neighborhood is out there under absolute stress from the authorities, the theater becomes more than just a theatre.
With your troupe focused on these courtyard protests, we were confronted with the challenging decision of whether fortinbras, bfts theater school, which works like a theater while training multi-faceted theatrical musicians and artists, might be correctly preserved. our decision ended up being thrown into razor-sharp relief when the federal government started expelling dissident pupils en masse, including theatre students within belarusian state academy of arts. it had been clear your just thing bft could do would be to increase our academic offer and welcome those students into fortinbras.
Revolutionary durations are times during the severe governmental confrontation and, as such, divulge their very own principles to experience an effective peaceful change of power. we see this process as akin to playwriting, whenever every word and phrase must move the story forward.
The buying price of the aspire to live in a totally free belarus today is incredibly high. a european country with a population of 9.5 million, it's experienced numerous hardships within the last 26 years. throughout our history, the ladies of belarus have consistently acted as catalysts for societal change. today, svetlana tikhanovskaya, maria kolesnikova, veronika tsepkalo and nina baginskaya are just four of the remarkable women during the forefront of our revolution of awakening.
The united states locates it self at a crossroads where just a unified and determined resistance out of every stratum of community will lead to the calm transition of energy. beating a dictatorship calls for gargantuan effort; we must unite the efforts of everybody to become more than simply a society.
Weve toured the planet and got numerous honors, however the right one we're able to request is playing completely now: the awakening of belarusians as a nation, a newfound awareness of one people who have a standard culture and shared history.
The belarusian men and women now observe that they may be able need modification. while this movement is obviously far bigger than bft alone, we now have through our theatre, campaigning and teaching done every little thing possible to carry this minute closer. as an old popular track known as my heart says: we didn't understand both until come early july.
In november, bft got the magnitsky award, which celebrates the resilience for the human spirit
Follow on twitter to discover more on our newest stories initially. pay attention to our podcast, culture call, in which ft editors and unique friends discuss life and art into the time of coronavirus. subscribe on apple, spotify, or wherever you listen