Professor Andrei Kalyada, working for Belarusian Academy of Arts, was dismissed for his collaboration with Belarus Free Theatre and literary translations.
Professor is known in Belarus as a leading voice coach, whose text-books are popular among some generations of students, and as a prominent translator into Belarusians of works by Dostoevsky, Bunin. Nabokov, Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak. Andrei Kalyada published 26 books, three ones are in preparation – translationsof selected prose by Ivan Bunin, a collection of three novels by Nobel Prize winners and a collected book of Belarusian and British drama.
Being prorector of Belarusian Academy of Arts on academic affaires, Kalyada gained that 65 per cent of courses were read in Belarusian in 1994. When the current president came to power and Russification began, Andrei Kalyada left his post of prorector and started teaching elocution in Belarusian.
In October, professor Kalyada was informed a contract with him wouldn’t be extended, though he was reading two courses he should have been finished, logically. The administration was unsatisfied with Andrei Kalyada because of his translations and collaboration with the Free Theatre, headed by his daughter Natallya and son-in-law Mikalai Khalezin. A collection of plays by young Belarusian playwrights Generation jeans translated by Andrei Kalyada reach the end of rector Rychard Smolski’s tether. The rector said in warm blood “Kalyada’s son-in-law and daughter are a shame for the country, and professor Kalyada is a shame for Academy of Arts.”
Commenting on his dismissal from Belarusian Academy of Arts, Andrei Kalyada said: “I expected it to happen any moment because the academy has turned into an establishment that is not worth this sonorous title. Academic process is a hostage of ideological dogmas, dictated from above.” The first step towards dismissal was deprival of bonuses for academic titles. This measure is used to those who don’t agree to work according to ideological clichés.
“Bonuses for academic titles are not provided by law today, but a right of a university to lead personnel in a string, depriving people of means of living. It has become common to speak about Russification of pedagogical process, rector Smolski even ordered to make tablets on the door to his cabinet in Russian probably bewaring that someone can’t understand Belarusian,” Andrei Kalyada said.
A book by Andrei Kalyada Belarusian Literary Pronounciation including a teacher’s edition and 3 CDs with examples of literary pronunciations, has become one of the most popular Belarusian teacher’s books. Seven countries asked a permit to publish it.
“Andrei Andreevich gives us invaluable help in our work. Translation of generation Jeans, a collection of plays by young Belarusian playwrights is an example of how generations can cooperate enriching each other with experience, knowledge, and energy. Andrei Kalyada will work for our theatre laboratory, where students were enrolled, and will also translate a great deal of drama material. I suppose he will have his schedule filled because we understand that squandering such specialists is a crime against our country,” Mikalai Khalezin, head of the Free Theatre, commented on the situation.
Answering a question about his estimation of actions of the administration of Belarusian Academy of Arts, Khalezin said: “Unfortunately, our education system is in the situation when chiefs are the people that are unable to find themselves in any cultural sphere because they are coward and envious. I feel rummy when I learn that another person, who once was engaged in creative work, becomes an executioner. Professor Kalyada has done much he can be proud of, while names of his persecutors will b forgotten a week after their dismissals.