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The NAM asks Ukraine to withdraw from Slavianski Bazaar

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The National Anti-Crisis Management has sent a letter to official Kiev, asking the Ukrainian leadership to withdraw support and funding for the Slavyanski Bazaar competition, which is being held in Vitebsk.

The Ukrainian president’s office as well as Culture and Information Policy Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko will receive the document. In addition, the NAM asked Vasyl Vovkun, former Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine and now artistic director of the Lviv National Opera and Ballet Theatre, to convey the position of Belarusians to state bodies, creative unions and representatives of the Ukrainian creative intelligentsia.

In the letter the NAM talks about repressions against cultural workers (dismissals of workers of cultural institutions, deprivation of benefits and preferences due to members of creative unions and so on), as well as actions of the authorities aimed at suppressing independent media. In addition, the document notes the difficult situation with the epidemic COVID-19 in Belarus, which threatens the health of participants of the event due to the lack of appropriate measures to combat it on the part of the state.

Bear in mind that recently the organizers of the festival have published posters with lists of future participants. It turned out that many of them were not aware that they had given their consent. After that, many artists said in social networks that they would not go to Slavianski Bazaar: for example, Mikhail Galustyan, Alexander Ivanov from the group Rondo, Anton Tabala (HOMIE), as well as Ukrainian singer MARUV and long-time Ukrainian host of the festival Timur Miroshnichenko.

The NAM is convinced that the festival cannot take place in conditions of an acute political crisis, as it will be used by the authorities as an instrument of propaganda and their own legitimisation. And artists who agree to become participants in Slavianski Bazaar will become involuntary "advocates" of the criminal regime.

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