29 February 2024, Thursday, 4:34
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Censorship for books and films in Belarus stepped up

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Censorship for books and films in Belarus stepped up

A council on morality is being created in the country. It is to study “moral image” of Belarusian book and cinema markets. Even Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin and “Hilter Kaputt!” films can be eliminated by censorship.

As said by the secretary of the state-supported Union of Writers of Belarus Ryhor Marchuk, the organisation has nothing in common with Soviet-time censorship, as they say. He noted that the council is to pay attention to books and films which “cause diametrically opposed opinions”.

The council on morality is created as a public organisation. It unites writers, artists, and workers of arts, experts of the Ministry of Culture, Education and Information, the representative of the Union of Belarusian Writers noted.

Practical activities haven’t been started by experts yet, but Ryhor Marchuk gave examples of works they are to focus on: “Blue Salo”, a book by Vladimir Sorokin, and Marius Vaisberg’s comedy “Hitler Kaputt!” which recently was screened in Belarusian cinemas.

“In no way we are comparing our activities with censorship, as in most cases we will analyze works of art which have already been released and entered the market. We will trace all the new works of art, observe reaction of people to the so-called objectionable works, which evoke diametrically opposed opinions, and then acquaint ministries and agencies with the results of our research,” “Narodnaya gazeta” quotes the secretary of the Union of Writers as saying.

The aim of the organisation, Marchuk said, is “preserving high moral ideals the society has”. As said by him, the evaluation of the council is to be given to interested agencies in the form of recommendations to pay attention to “particular extremity of this or that work of art”.

It should be reminded that over the time of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s rule in Belarus almost every printed word undergoes censorship. There are no independent TV channels in the country, so films that contradict the views of the regime are not shown. The same concerns books. Not only closing down of almost all independent newspapers has become a sign of destroyed freedom of speech in the country. Books of independent authors are not printed by state publishing houses. Even the People’s Writer of Belarus Vasil Bykau was banned, as he criticized Alyaksandr Lukahsneka’s policies.

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