23 January 2018, Tuesday, 22:28

Artists leaving Zabor art project over censorship

Famous artists are going to leave Zabor art project, which provoked a scandal on the Polish border last week.

The Warsaw version of the Belarusian exhibition underwent serious censorship. Representatives of the Belarusian embassy removed nine paintings, the step that made their authors think about leaving the cultural investment project.

Uladzislau Stalmakhau, who planned to represent an “ironic view of the USSR leaders” in Warsaw, was the first to speak about quitting the project. By the way, his works ironically depicting Stalin and Lenin were considered to be the highlight of the project, TUT.BY reports.

Management company Zubr Capital, which promotes Belarus's investment opportunities via art, found the works with the Soviet leaders rather interesting and suitable for Warsaw.

The project authors were confident that the Belarusian version of the exhibition, which was displayed on a fence in Minsk in summer, was not suitable for Poland. They thought the Belarusian message would not find understanding in the Polish culture. They decided to add what would seem to be common images and hints on the Soviet order and dictatorship. The expected that the creative approach of Belarusians to the Soviet history will unite the world.

An hour before the opening of the exhibition in Warsaw, project authors were discussing prospects on cultural expansion to the West and East. Zabor exhibition could be moved to Japan and then to the UK if it hadn't been a scandal in Warsaw.

Staff of Belarus's diplomatic representation in Warsaw found the humour improper and removed the provocative paintings at the last minute. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Viktar Haisyonak  admitted they had to remove only obviously inappropriate works that were not agreed upon with the Belarusian Cultural Centre in Warsaw.