Performance artist leaves Belarus fearing criminal prosecution

An action artist Alyaksei Kuzmich has left Belarus because of the threat of arrest. He wrote about this on his Facebook page.

On the morning of September 1, the artist announced that he had left Belarus for Kyiv. He said that he was afraid of arrest in a criminal case.
“I didn’t want to leave the state, the socio-political context of which I use as a material for my art, but this is how the situation developed. I had received information that they were going to fabricate a criminal case against me under an article related to pornography,” Alyaksei Kuzmich wrote Facebook.
Kuzmich held a performance at a polling station on August 9, the day of the presidential election. He walked out of the voting booth wearing just loincloth, on his chest he put a ballot paper with a phallic symbol painted on it. The artist blindfolded himself and stood in a crucifixion pose. He repeated the same performance in front of the Minsk riot police during protest rallies.

The performance “I Believe, or the Philistine World of Political Animals” from the performance artist Alyaksei Kuzmich. Station number 36 in Minsk. Belarus. August 9, 2020 Photo:

On August 10, the young man was detained, he spent three days in a remand prison at Akrestsina where he was brutalized.

Protests in Belarus have been going on for 24 days.

Citizens do not recognize the results of the presidential elections. On September 1, students decided to go out into the street. Police detained some protesters.