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Belarus across the barricades - part two

Poet Valzhyna Mort weaves together her work with first-hand accounts, texts and tweets from inside the summer-long uprising in her home country, Belarus.

For 100 days and counting protesters are calling for an end to the 26-year long rule of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus. Poet Valzhyna Mort records first-hand stories from her friends who are out protesting week after week; ordinary people making extraordinary choices. Obsessively, she reads the social media posts flooding her phone. In her hands, these tiny messages are poetry themselves, the oral history of our time captured on thousands of phones. The story is rich, layered, and homely. ‘Leave food out for cat.’ says one woman not sure whether masked security agents will snatch her from the street. A young father explains how he writes his address in his little son’s clothes in case he has to make it home alone one day. Yet in all this fear and rage comes a spirit of togetherness. Strangers have become friends. Apartment blocks have become neighbourhoods. Whole communities upload the choral part-songs they’ve been gathering to sing after dark each night. Whatever happens next in Belarus, this is a country transformed.

Producer: Monica Whitlock

(Photo: Pensioners protest in Minsk, Belarus. Credit: EPA)

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27 minutes

Last on

Sat 12 Dec 2020 11:32GMT

Valzhyna Mort

Valzhyna Mort
Valzhyna Mort is a poet and translator born in Minsk, Belarus. She teaches at Cornell University She is the author of three poetry collections, Factory of Tears, Collected Body Music for the Dead and ResurrectedRead more


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  • Sat 12 Dec 2020 11:32GMT