Sayapina / Davis: Belarusian diary

Belarusian diary

Detentions and arrests in Belarus in 2020 became widespread. According to the estimates of human rights activists, from the beginning of the election campaign in May until the end of the year, more than thirty thousand citizens were detained, most of whom were sentenced by the courts to administrative arrest and heavy fines. The traumatic experience of fear, being in jail, psychological and physical violence, a feeling of insecurity or terror, persecution, fear for loved ones, friends and colleagues, job loss, forced and urgent migration of thousands of people: all of that became part of the ordinary for Belarusians.
This work is an attempt to reveal the whole through the specific, based on the artist's personal experience, to record a short but significant segment of life as a diary entry and make it an open evidence of local history.
Nadya Sayapina is a belarusian artist, in July 2020 she created a collective performance titled “Heritage”, dedicated to paintings confiscated from the corporate art collection of “Belgazprombank” as a part of the criminal case against Viktor Babariko – the chairman of the bank’s board and a candidate in the presidential election. During the performance, 24 cultural workers and artists attached the reproductions of confiscated paintings to their backs and for several hours stood in front of QR codes placed in frames on the walls. On September 7, the artist was detained at her home for taking part in an anti-violence action on August 15 at the Palace of Arts in Minsk, where artists and artists stood with portraits of victims of the protests in August 9-11, 2020. Nadya was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest in accordance with Part 1 of Art. 23.34 Administrative Code (participation in an unauthorized mass gathering). The other participants of this action were not brought to justice, that preserves the probability of an indirect connection between the arrest and the previously organized performance. In October, three weeks after her release from arrest, the artist left Belarus.

concept, modelling: Nadya Sayapina
video director: Carolina Poliakowa
projection: Pasha Plaha
music: Gareth Davis