Solidary Białystok

dir. Mikołaj Wawrzeniuk, 2020

The presidential election in Belarus has awakened the unprecedented energy of the citizens of this country and their social and political activity. And the falsification of the results – rapid and mass resentment, as well as brutal repression by the usurper authorities. Citizens of other countries show solidarity with the citizens of the Republic of Belarus in their fight for justice, freedom and democracy.

Białystok is an important place among the solidary cities. Firstly, because of its close proximity and strong economic ties with Belarus, secondly, because it has a large Belarusian national minority, and thirdly, because it has a growing Belarusian diaspora. Hence, in Białystok, numerous actions of solidarity with the persecuted Belarusians in their homeland have been taking place.

In my documentary, I want to show the diversity and spectacularism of these actions. Protests at the Consulate General of the Republic of Belarus, a run around Białystok with white-red-white and white-red flags, a mass for peace in Belarus in the Białystok cathedral, a 2,000-strong march from the centrally located Kościuszko Square to the Belarusian consulate with the participation of local government officials and members of parliament, or an online concert broadcast on the evening before the election day. All these actions are linked by their spontaneous, bottom-up nature. It is the inhabitants of Białystok – Poles and Belarusians – who want to go out on the streets, protest against breaking the law 70 kilometres from their city and support the victims.

The poet Andrej Khadanovich, translator of “Walls”, the anthem of the current protests, in the “Belarusian Week” show on TVP 3 Białystok emphasizes the importance of such international solidarity.

He says: „We all here in Minsk are, in a sense, Akrestsin’s prisoners. The voice from behind the prison walls is like a breath of fresh air for us”.

That words will be the point of the documentary.

Reportage, director Mikołaj Wawrzeniuk, 2020, Belarus

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