During 2021 artists and cultural workers from Belarus have a possibility to live and work at Konstepidemin in Gothenburg in the new residency program Art Residency – STATUS project. The artists will be matched with artists from West Sweden Region, a “Residence Companion” to support a personal exchange of artistic work.
The artist-run organisation Konstepidemin have been collaborating since 2017 with several non-profit and non-governmental organisations in Belarus. Together with a free theatre, Kryly Chalopa, in Brest, Konstepidemin have developed the project STATUS – the role of artists in changing society, with funding from the Swedish Institute.
The STATUS project has during the years generated exchanges in different ways: seminars, workshops, collective research, exhibitions and a congress. A book with perspectives on conditions for cultural workers in Belarus and Sweden was published in 2019. The project is presented through the website www.statusproject.net . Next step was to invite Belarusian artists and cultural workers for an art residency at Konstepidemin in Gothenburg. This was made possible by additional support from Iaspis (the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual and Applied Artists).
Artists and cultural workers are after the election in Belarus an exposed group and freedom of expression without repressions is limited. These experiences will most likely be mirrored by the participants of the residency program. Konstepidemin hopes that the residency will give the artists from Belarus time and distance to process the events in their country and exchange thoughts and experiences with Swedish artists
Due to the covid 19 travel restrictions we can only present two of the residents, Ulyana Nevzorova and Olga Bubich. When restrictions ease off new residents will come. Follow the project on www.statusproject.net and on social media.
The firsts two participants in this new residency at Konstepidemin are Ulyana Nevzorova and Olga Bubich. The work of artist and activist Ulyana Nevzorovas evolves around questions of human rights and civil resistance. Olga Bubich is a photographer, writer and art critic and her work addresses a wide range of topics: art and culture sphere in Belarus, the role of photography and art in memory preservation, freedom of expression and LGBTQ visibility.
Day of Solidarity with Belarus 7th of February
In connection with solidarity actions for the cultural workers on Sunday the 7th of February Ulyana Nevzorova and Olga Bubich will be available for interviews. We are also launching the digital campaign #ArtSolidarityBelarus this coming weekend. Further on The STATUS project will arrange several digital events and meetings during their stay to meet up with the interest of the dangerous but important work that is done by artists in Belarus.
Coming artists in residence
The Covid epidemic have made the possibility travel from Belarus more difficult, but coming summer we hope to welcome the new program participants:
Yauheni Attsetski, Minsk, Belarus.
Ihar Stakhiyevich (Bazinato), Molodechno, Belarus.
Ilona Dergach,Minsk, Belarus.
Natallia Katsuba, Minsk Belarus.
The STATUS-project have since 2017 collaborated with several non-governmental organisations that we during the yeas seen disappear due to political pressure: Cech, Canteen XYZ, Y gallery for exsample and now even Kryly Chalopa is harassed for economical irregularities, a wellknown way for the regime to get access unwanted activites. Kryly Chalopas exhibition venue was shut down 1st of February. Many of the cultural workers that have participated in our project are active in the protests and have gotten in trouble. Articles with descriptions of the situation from inside prison as well as from the role of culture role in the change of society have been published in collaboration with IAA (international Artists Association) in Swedish magazine Konstnären.
Over 30 000 individuals have been arrested for participation in demonstrations and actions, 8 are dead. Of these 480 are journalists and more than 200 artists. They have been imprisoned, from 15 days to several months under miserable conditions. After being released still harassed even so their families. Many artists have left their homes for neighbour countries to escape from threats and worries.
Konstepidemin hope to with the STATUS residency give artists from Belarus time and distance to process the situation in their country and exchange thoughts and experiences with Swedish artists
Project leaders för STATUS projektet in Sweden:
Mona Wallström, email@example.com Phone: 0046 73-753 34 58
Denis Romanovski, firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0046 73-577 96 36
Project leaders för STATUS projektet for Belarus:
Inga Lindarenka email@example.com
Vera Kavaleskaya firstname.lastname@example.org