The ex-political prisoner has told reporters about the genre of prison literature and life at large.
Former political prisoner Mikalai Dziadok has become a laureate of the Frantsishak Aliakhnovich Award for his book Colors Of Parallel World. He told novychas.by about the award, the genre of prison literature and life at large.
– Mikalai, what does this award mean to you?
– You know, I try not to focus attention and not to worry too much about any titles or regalia... Therefore, another diploma or notional medal is not what I'm running for. But, obviously, there is a certain pleasure in receiving this prize. So a certain circle of people noticed and appreciated my work. So it was not in vain. And it's nice. Moreover, this is an award named after Frantsishak Aliakhnovich, a man who wrote In The Claws Of The GPU.
– Why did you write your Colors?
– There are two reasons. Personal and political, and they overlap. Personal – there was a lot of experience that needed to be analyzed and structured, after all. Writing a book is the best way to do it. Otherwise, this experience will just press on you from the inside. I've learned something, so I want to share it. Especially since many observations and experiences were negative, and transferring them to paper, you are liberating yourself from them to a certain extent.
The political reason is that I think that an anarchic analysis of control systems is important. I want everyone to see how this works and how to fight it.
Well, there's also a certain manifestation of principles: since you deprived me of my freedom for my political activities for 5 years, here, take it. I continued this activity even after those five years and will continue to fight with you.
– What do you expectations the book to do? Do you think that it can affect the society?
– Of course, I do not count on a big effect. Now the third edition is being prepared, and the total number of all three editions will be 1200 copies. It's not so much to influence something on a national scale. But the minimum I expect is to teach political activists to endure slavery (as they say – forewarned, forearmed). Well, and secondly, to show employees of punitive structures: none of them is forgotten! They will have to answer for everything.
By the way, the book is interesting not only for the Belarusian reader. Presentations of the Russian-Belarusian version were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tver and Kiev. Recently a Russian-language edition was published and it is available in five stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The translation into English has been completed, as soon as the copies of the translated book are available, I will immediately report this on my pages in social networks.
– Where were the Colors Of Parallel World written – behind bars or outside the jail?
– Approximately 50 to 50. I think writing after is better. After all, the brain clears, and you can already have a better look at your experience. Prison, after all, is an extreme situation.
– How did you benefit from the writing of the book? How did it affect you as a person?
– I can't say that it has affected me much. Well, I can set a kind of tick in my head: here, I have the first book written by me! Kind of a small step on the path of life, some achievement. Nothing more.
– Is there much left, so to speak, behind the scenes?
– Lots of. The most terrible is left behind the scenes, since I do not want to intimidate a society that is already intimidated. A lot of personal things are also not reflected in the book – it's not about this and not for this. And I made some conclusions about the structure of the prison system already after the book was published. I found time to put some of those thoughts to paper only in the second edition, so it will be with some new stories: The Wizard, Liberation, The Riot In Quarantine. So there will be 16 stories in total.
– Is this your first and the last book?
– As it turned out, no. My next book will not be directly connected with the prison. Now my attention is drawn to political analysts, especially issues connected to the rebel movements and the Middle East. I will work on this topic. I haven't yet decided what specifically the next book will be about, because there are several ideas, and I work on them in parallel. So I hope that someday I'll get an award for something other than prison literature.
This year, former political prisoners were awarded with the Frantsishak Aliakhnovich Award for prison literature. They are Andrei Sannikov (for the book MyHistory), Mikalai Dziadok (Colors Of Parallel World), Dzmitry Drozd (Riot Of Nerds ) and Leanid Piatrenka (Cell Dreams). Leanid Piatrenka is currently behind bars, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.