14 December 2018, Friday, 2:44
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Ales Marachkin: New Belarus Will Be Built On Stone Of BPR Centenary

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ALES MARACHKIN
PHOTO: RADIO LIBERTY

There’s deep symbolism in the unity of the opposition on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic.

The centenary of the Belarusian People's Republic has finally brought us together and united. But so far this is only the foundation on which we will build. Famous Belarusian artist, one of the founders of the “Pahonia” association Ales Marachkin said this in an interview for the Charter97.org.

— On January 15, you participated in the session of the organizational committee for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the BPR proclamation. What does this jubilee mean to you personally?

— Everything that happened in Minsk on the day of January 15, and what will happen on March 25 during the festive procession, and the events of 100 years ago — all this is full of deep symbolism.

This is such a significant event that it will be better if Belarusians themselves say what the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian People's Republic means to them. Therefore, I want to go to the March 25 peaceful procession with large white-red-white canvas, on which I will write “100 years of the BPR is ...”. And let everyone write what this date means to them.

And later, at the beginning of April, we, the artists, will hold an exhibition dedicated to the anniversary of the BPR. I think our paintings will tell about the significance of this event more than words. In the same place, I want to put a canvas on which Belarusians will tell about the significance of the BPR at the festive procession on March 25.

I'll tell you a little secret. I dream — I do not know yet how this can be done — but most of all, I want a stone to be installed in the square in the center of Minsk for this jubilee year. A memorial stone on which the words “BPR, 1918 – 2018” will be imprinted. A stone is an eternal material. If they fail to do this in the Kastrychnitskaya Square, then at least somewhere in the center of our capital.

— Is this your biggest dream today?

— Yes.

— Why such composition?

— Remember, as Christ said, pointing to Apostle Peter: “On this stone I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."

Let it be just a stone in the beginning. But we must remember that we still do not have an equestrian statue in Minsk. And here it is not necessary to think — this equestrian monument passes through all our historical heritage, our culture. This is our eternal “Pahonia”.

I believe that in future this stone will serve as the foundation for the majestic “Pahonia” monument in the center of Minsk. On this stone, with the inscription on the 100th anniversary of the BPR, we will build our new Belarus.

After all, the BPR was the foundation of our statehood in the 20th century. And everyone should know, or rather see, this fact .

— How do you assess the fact that all democratic forces unanonimously decided to celebrate the Freedom Day together and to start it with the rally from Yakub Kolas square?

— It's just wonderful! Finally, the BPR anniversary brought us together and united! I think that soon all “undercurrents” in our opposition will cease to exist. It was very pleasant when at the meeting of the organizational committee everyone came to the conclusion thatwe should celebrate this anniversary in unison. 100 years, as they say, happens once a millennium.

I am proud that at two extended meetings of the organizational committee, Henadz Drazdou and I created an art commission to decorate this festive procession. We will do everything possible to make this day festive.