Featured Interview: Bazlova, Rufina, and Sasha Razor. "Rufina Bazlova: The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka." Chrysalis Mag. February 17, 2021.

Featured Article: Gapova, Elena. "Things to Have for a Belarusian: Rebranding the Nation Via Online Participation." Digital Icons no. 17 (2017): 47–71.


On August 9, 2020, peaceful decentralized protests erupted across the Republic of Belarus to contest the falsified presidential election results. The unprecedented scale of public mobilization caused the illegitimate dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka to quip that these protests were directed by Czech puppeteers who allegedly manipulated them from Prague. Lukashenka’s propaganda uses the metaphor of puppetry and marionettes to discredit the frontwomen and -men of the protests and thus deprive them of their agency. The same terminology is frequently applied by the Russian government to discredit the pro-Europe politicians and leaders of East-Central Europe. The rhetorical trope of the Czech puppeteer later became the subject of many memes within Belarus. This exhibition responds to this discourse by presenting the work of Rufina Bazlova, a Prague-based puppeteer from Belarus whose comic embroidery series The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka went viral within the first days of the protests. The medium of traditional embroidery is a widespread transnational phenomenon that uses elements of folk culture as a marker of belonging. Belarusian embroideries are a specific code for recording information about the lives of the nation. Bazlova utilizes this medium and manipulates it digitally to narrate the ongoing saga of the Belarusian uprising, where each tableau corresponds to an actual event that took place during the Summer–Winter of 2020.

Vyzhyvanka is a pun combining two Belarusian words, “embroidery” and “survival.”

Vyshyvanka means “embroidered shirt.”

Vyzhyvats' means “to survive.”


Rufina Bazlova

RUFINA BAZLOVA is a Prague-based Belarusian artist who works in illustration, comics, art books, puppet making, scenography, performance, and costume design. Bazlova gained an international profile for her series The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka, which uses the traditional folk embroidery medium to depict the ongoing peaceful protests in Belarus, her home country. Additionally, the artist is also known as the author of the fully embroidered comic book Ženokol (Feminnature), which explores the themes of feminism present in folk traditions. Another of her graphic series, Sametová Plzeň 1989, depicts the events of the Velvet Revolution e in the Czech town of Plzeň. Bazlova holds an undergraduate degree in stage design from the theater department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU) and an MFA in illustration and graphic design from the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia. Together with her colleagues from DAMU, she founded a creative group of puppeteers called Sleď Pod Kožichem (Herring Under a Fur Coat). Their play RAW was nominated for the Greenhorn Award at the prestigious Figura Theatre Festival in Baden, Switzerland in 2020.


Sasha Razor

SASHA RAZOR is a Belarusian-American scholar and activist. She is a recent alumna of the UCLA Department of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies where she completed her PhD titled “‘We Were the River’: Screenwriters of the Left Front of the Arts, 1923–1931” in June 2020. Razor is also an expert on Belarusian and Ukrainian literature and culture with a focus on the contemporary period, postcolonialism, visual arts, and diasporic and women studies. In fall 2020, Razor completed an internship at the Museum of Russian Culture, San Francisco for which she has received the 2020 ASEEES Internship Grant Award. She is the curator of the following exhibitions: Dream of the Revolution (UCLA, 2017), Exiles, Protesters, Envoys: Russian History in Photographs (City of West Hollywood, 2019), and The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka: the Protest Art of Rufina Bazlova (UCLA, 2021).

Video collage of Rufina Bazlova's work prepared by Arseniy Oleynik in collaboration with Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen

The Female Triumvirate

On the eve of the Belarusian presidential election, two of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s three primary political opponents were arrested: Siarhei Tsikhanousky and Viktar Babaryka. Valery Tsapkala, the third oppositional candidate, was forced to leave the country. On July 16, 2020, a historic meeting took place during which representatives of the three oppositional headquarters––Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maryia Kalesnikava, and Veranika Tsapkala––decided to join their efforts. Thus, the famous female triumvirate headed by Sviatlana Tikhanovskaya emerged. They went down in history as the three women who challenged “Europe’s last dictator,” Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Maryia Kalesnikava, and Veranika Tsapkala address their voters on August 5, 2020

The DJs of "Changes!"

Russian rock star Viktor Tsoi’s song “Changes!” was used as a protest song in Belarus as early as July 2011, after which it was officially censored from Belarusian radio and TV. On August 6, 2020, three days before the presidential election, Belarusian DJs Uladzislau Sakalou and Kiryl Galanau disrupted the official event in Minsk’s Kyiv Park by playing this banned song. Both DJs were arrested the same day and were forced to emigrate upon their release from jail. Their symbolic gesture, however, served as a signal to action. It also inspired the protesters to create a unique urban space, known in Minsk as the “Square of Changes,” which became the epicenter of Belarusian protest culture. A mural depicting Sakalou and Galanau was repeatedly destroyed by the public utility services and restored by the protesters over ten times.

Kiryl Galanau and Uladzislau Sakalou in Kiyv park in Minsk on August 6, 2020

Sviatlana is my President

On May 29, 2020, the famous blogger Siarhei Tsikhanousky was arrested. His wife, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, announced her intention to run in his place. After joining efforts with Maryia Kalesnikava and Veranika Tsapkala, Tsikhanouskaya registered as the presidential candidate. She presented herself to the public as a transitional figure. Her platform, which consisted of two positions—the release of all political prisoners and holding a new fair election—mobilized and united the entire country. After numerous reports of election fraud, official numbers stated that 82% of the electorate voted for Lukashenka. Still, the majority of people believe that Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya won by a wide margin, but the real numbers may never be known since the ballots in some polling stations were destroyed. On August 10, after an unexpected meeting with officials from the security forces, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya fled the country for Lithuania. She now lives and works in exile in Vilnius as the Belarusian opposition leader.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's video opinion published by The New York Times (September 23, 2020)

Running from the Gun

On August 9, 2020, the day of the fraudulent presidential election, thousands of peaceful protesters spontaneously took to the streets all across the Republic of Belarus. The post-election turmoil that ensued included a three-day internet blackout, massive civil unrest, and the military usurpation of power. The regime responded with an unprecedented level of brutality by deploying riot police, militias, and the military, who used rubber bullets and stun grenades on the peaceful population and arbitrarily beat and arrested bystanders and drivers passing in the vicinity of the protests. Within two days, two people had been murdered, hundreds were wounded, more than six thousand were incarcerated, and dozens had gone missing. The protesters adopted the “be water” tactics that came out of Hong Kong to wear down the riot police. A similar domestic tactic later developed in the fall and winter of 2020–21, with smaller groups gathering sporadically in the suburban communities. This came to be called the “flickering protests.”

I have no connection. Motion design by Olga Tesliuk

The First Victim

On August 9, 2020, during the first night of the protests, Yauhen Zaichkin was hit by a police vehicle known in Belarus as autazak. A video of this incident was broadcast widely, and the media reported that the victim died in the hospital. The next day, news was released that Zaichkin was alive. World media outlets widely reprinted a photograph of a masked riot officer posing with Zaichkin lying on the ground. The identity of this law enforcement officer’s personality was later established by Belarusian developer Andrew Maximov, a resident of Los Angeles. He created a program that matches images of masked policemen with law enforcement databases.

AI Unmasks the Police (September 24, 2020)

Prometheus of the Belarusian Revolution

On August 10, 2020, during the second night of the protests, the Belarusian police killed peaceful protester Aliaksandr Taraikousky. According to the authorities, Taraikousky died from the explosion of his own an unknown device, which he was about to throw at the riot police. Released later, footage from surveillance cameras shows that he died from the two gunshots. In early January 2021, BY_POL, an initiative created by former policemen who turned against the Lukashenka regime, published a leaked recording of a Belarusian law enforcement meeting, proving that the authorities issued an order permitting the riot police to use lethal force against the protesters. A people’s memorial was erected at the site of Taraikousky’s death, which was then repeatedly destroyed by the public utility services and rebuilt by the protesters. The slogan “We will not forget, we will not forgive!” entered the protest vocabulary, and now it can be heard throughout Belarus and beyond. No criminal case on the murder of Aliaksandr Taraikouski was ever opened.

Brutality in Prison

The first three days of the protests were marked by massive arrests and unprecedented levels of state-sponsored violence. The testimonies of those released from jails include accounts of minors and seniors being arrested, overcrowded jail cells, the use of torture, blood-stained floors, and a lack of food, water, and medical aid. Released medical protocols include accounts of rape and organ damage. Testimonies published in the independent Belarusian and Russian media report that certain warders imitated Nazi concentration camp practices by releasing gas into the jail cells and police transportation vehicles, assigning numbers to prisoners, and marking those due for extra-violent beatings with yellow paint and those who had already been tortured with red. The audio recording leaked by BYPOL (initiative organized by former police who are against Lukashenka's regime) in early January 2021 confirms the regime’s plans to create concentration camps for the protesters. Observers have reported one such camp was built near the town of Ivatsevichy in the Brest region. As of the end of 2020, the Viasna Human Rights Center has documented more than 1000 testimonies of torture victims. Their analysis suggests that acts of torture were widespread, systemic, and well organized as a politically motivated punitive operation perpetrated by the authorities to intimidate the Belarusian public. By December 2020, more than 33,000 people had been arrested since the beginning of the protests. According to Viasna Human Rights Organization, as of February 15, 2021, 246 persons are considered political prisoners and remain in jail.

Women in White

On August 12, 2020, Belarusian women spontaneously took to the streets in large numbers calling for an end to state violence, forming solidarity chains, and gathering across the country. Self-organizing in Telegram chats, they chose to dress in white, the traditional color of women’s suffrage. Hence, the “Women in White” movement was born. From August to October 2020, Belarusian women continued to participate in weekly Saturday marches, clashing with the police and breaking through police lines. All in all, there were four Saturday marches: the “Women’s Grand March for Freedom” on August 29; “The Loudest March. Women March for Women on September 12; “The March of Sparkles” on September 19, which resulted in 400 detentions; and the “Démarche against Political Repressions” that took place on October 10. With the escalation of police violence against women, these massive marches subsided, while smaller decentralized forms of protest persisted.

The Female Solidarity

Women of Belarus take to the streets (August 12, 2020)

Honoring the Heroes

By “heroes,” this image refers to those Belarusians in the government and policing structures who resigned in the first days following the fraudulent presidential election to express their solidarity with the peaceful protesters. Some law enforcement officers who put their weapons down and stood with the people later decided to retire. Some of them publicly circulated video addresses online in which they disposed of their uniforms. This media event was dubbed #погонопад (pogonopad, the fall of epaulets). California-based Belarusian IT entrepreneur Mikita Mikado of PandaDoc launched the initiative Protect Belarus, which combined efforts with the Belarus Solidarity Foundation to assist those former police officers who had lost their jobs. The regime took revenge on September 5, 2020, by arresting four top managers at PandaDoc’s Minsk office. As a result, Mikado decided to terminate his program, but several other IT companies continued his project: https://www.protectbelarus.org/eng/.

Mikita Mikado on Protect Belarus Initiative (August 12, 2020)

Military Hiding Behind the Flag
Military in Love and Peace

The Return of the White, Red and White Flag

Created in 1918, the original flag of the Belarusian People’s Republic featured a red band on a white field. After the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, this flag was chosen as the national flag of the new, independent Republic of Belarus. Even though Aliaksandr Lukashenka himself had his first inauguration under the white-red-white flag, in 1994 he pushed for the return of the old Soviet insignia, i.e., the current official red-green flag, which also features a traditional ornament. Henceforth, the original historical white-red-white flag and “Pahonia” coat of arms became the symbol of Lukashenko’s opposition. In summer 2020, both flags were used by protesters side by side to emphasize national unity. However, since August 2020, the white-red-white flag has made a triumphant return to public circulation.

Video of the White-Red-White flag return on the streets of Hrodna, Belarus (August 14, 2020)

The House of Government

On August 14, 2020, a large crowd gathered in front of the House of Government in Minsk. The riot police officers in charge of guarding the building received an order to put their shields down. The protesters perceived this gesture as a sign of the police siding with the people. Some female protesters started hugging and kissing the police officers and giving them flowers. After the protest entered its reactionary phase, many people reproached those women for channeling the lighthearted flower power ethos in protesting the military usurpation of power at a time when the other side was committing massive human rights violations.

Minsk––Hero City Stela

Opened in 1985, the Minsk–Hero City Obelisk is a monument commemorating the 40th anniversary of victory in the Second World War. On August 16, 2020, the most extensive protest action in Belarusian history took place with 250,000–400,000 people, approximately gathering in its vicinity. Some reports estimate that about one million people across Belarus—a country of 9.5 million—participated in the All-National March for Freedom with 500,000 protesters in Minsk alone. Those who gathered at the Minsk–Hero City Obelisk later marched towards the Independence Prospekt and the House of Government. No detentions or incidents were reported, and the protesters later self-organized to clean the streets after the march was over.

Protests in Minsk on August 16, 2020

St. Wenceslaus Raising the White, Red and White Flag

According to the Czech Statistical Office, nearly 7000 Belarusian ex-pats live in the Czech Republic. Many of them are critical of the current regime and participate in the protests to make their voices heard. On August 9, 2020, many Belarusians living in the Czech Republic gathered in St. Wenceslaus’ square in Prague to support the protesters in Belarus. On August 16, during another large protest rally, the large white-red-white Belarusian flag was placed at the center of a heart formed by nearly a thousand people gathering in the Czech capital’s Old Town Square. Additionally, buildings in several Prague districts flew the historical Belarusian flag to support the ongoing protests. In January 2021, Škoda Auto, a Czech automobile manufacturer, refused to sponsor the Hockey World Championship in Belarus and expressed its solidarity with Belarusian protests.

Škoda Auto
Don't Play with Dictator

Citizens of St. Petersburg

The Belarusians of Saint Petersburg, Russia form another significant community outside Belarus and the second-largest diaspora in the city after Ukrainians. According to different estimates, there are 38,000–65,000 Belarusians living there. Since August 9, the Belarusians of Saint Petersburg have been protesting every day outside the Belarusian Embassy and in other locations around the city. A single instance of the detention of some protesters was reported in December 2020. Daily protest actions make the Belarusians of Saint Petersburg the most active group outside the country.

Belarusians of St. Petersburg read Kornei Chukovsky's poem (February 15, 2021)

The Cockroach

This series of images depicts Aliaksandar Lukashenka as a cockroach. The cockroach metaphor was first used during Siarhei Tsikhanousky’s election campaign. His motto “stop the cockroach” gained popularity, and the word itself gradually came to have an automatic association with the Belarusian dictator. The metaphor of a cockroach as a mustachioed tyrant goes back to the work of Russian children’s author Kornei Chukovsky, namely his fairy tale poem “The Monster Cockroach” [Tarakanishche] (1921). In this poem, an insect assumes power over animal world by bullying them, possibly as a reference to the figure of Joseph Stalin (1878–1953). The poem became popular in the Belarusian protests. Some people went out to the street with slippers in their hands to suggest smashing the cockroach. The events of summer 2020 are sometimes referred to as the “Slipper Revolution,” but the name did not stick.

Solidarity with Salihorsk

Based in the city of Salihorsk in the southern Minsk region, the Belaruskali Factory specializes in the production of potash. Its workers went on strike during the first days of the revolution, thus halting the mining. In the picture, they are burying a cockroach—the metaphor for Aliaksandr Lukashenka used by blogger Siarhei Tsikhanousky in his election campaign. Tsikhanouski also made a slipper (the folk weapon for killing cockroaches) a symbol of his campaign.

Salihorsk miners on strike (August 14, 2020)

Workers from MKZT Factory

The Minsk Wheeled Tractor Plant (MZKT) is known as a manufacturer of heavy off-road vehicles. It was formerly a division of MAZ, one of the largest Eastern European automotive manufacturers producing city buses and trucks. In August 2020, MKZT became one of the ten state-run Belarusian factories that joined the strike. Others included: Grodno Azot, BelAZ, the Kozlov Minsk Electrotechnical Plant, and the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant. On August 17, 2020, during Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s visit to the MKZT plant, the workers famously booed the dictator, and one of them shouted out, “Shoot yourself, officer!” The video went viral. The worker, Andrei Sudas, was later arrested.

Aliaksandar Lukashenka visits MKZT (August 17, 2020)

Flags in Kaskad

Kaskad is a business and residential complex in Minsk located in the city’s Frunzensky district. Since the beginning of the protests, the Kaskad neighborhood has been active and came up with creative solutions, displaying the white-red-white flags on a rope between two high-rise buildings, preventing access by the government employees put in charge of removing the protest insignia. When the latter would show up with a crane to take the flag down, the protesters would steal the flag in front of their opponents’ noses. Several of these instances were recorded on video, which then went viral. On November 10, Kaskad displayed a pair of giant underwear in white, red, and white protest colors. A video of the special riot police arrived to take it down became known as “OMON taking off the undies.” Since then, this protest neighborhood, along with many others, has been harassed by the riot police, who have raided ordinary citizens’ private apartments on numerous occasions without providing their identification documents, much less search warrants. The Kaskad building complex’s flags became a well-known protest landmark and a symbolic tug-of-war with the regime.

Kaskad residential complex in Minsk on November 10, 2020

The Streets of Belarus

Illegitimate leader Aliaksandr Lukashenka declared 2021 the year of National Unity in Belarus. It is difficult, however, to imagine a more conflicted situation. This artwork reflects the conflict between the two flags and ideologies, between the regime and the protesters, between those who were incarcerated, are currently in jail, or are at risk of incarceration, and the wardens. Protest tactics include blocking the roads, holding processions, and forming solidarity chains. The sound of car horns in solidarity with the protesters has become an integral part of the sonic protest landscape. Belarus’s streets remain dangerous with the security forces often kidnapping ordinary citizens.

Nina Bahinskaya

Born in 1946, seventy-four-year-old Nina Bahinskaya is an icon of the Belarusian protests. She is a well-known activist of the Belarusian Popular Front, a social and political independence movement established in Belarus in 1989. Bahinskaya has a long history of fiercely opposing the Lukashenka regime, including being detained multiple times and receiving dozens of fines. In 2020, she became especially famous for saying, “I’m walking” in response to the riot police who attempted to stop her and take away her flag. The video later went viral. In September 2020, Bahinskaya was featured in Italian Vogue as “the mother of the Belarusian revolution.”

Nina Bahinskaya: "I am walking!" (August 13, 2020)

Taxi Savior

This comic is based on the viral video released on September 23, 2020, of a Yandex ridesharing driver saving a protester who was running from the police.

'"Спас и спас. Думаю, что таких людей много". Рассказ минского таксиста, который увез демонстранта от силовиков и не считает себя героем'.Current Time TV. 12 ноября 2020.

Yandex-Taxi saves the protester (September 23, 2020)

People with Unlimited Abilities

On October 15, 2020, the first march of people with disabilities took place in Minsk.Many people with disabilities who were fed up with the regime took to the streets to express their protest against its violence. A few of them had only recently begun using wheelchairs due to the brutal crackdown on August demonstrations. These marches lasted from October 15 to the end of November and attracted up to 200 people. Some detentions were reported by the press.

March of people with unlimited abilities (October 12, 2020)


According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, in 2020, independent journalists were detained over 470 times, 97 underwent administrative arrests, and 15 are currently facing false criminal charges. Among them are three fearless female journalists: Dar'ia Chultsova, Katsiaryna Andreeva, and Katsiaryna Barysevich. They are being charged with organizing mass protests and disclosing medical information about Roman Bondarenko, a protester murdered by the regime’s cronies. Also among the journalists are the founder of the Press-Club Belarus, Yulia Slutskaya, four other former members, well-respected journalist Andrei Aliaksandrau, and his partner Iryna Zlobina. They are guilty of doing their work and supporting the victims of the political repressions. Ihar Losik, administrator of a popular social media channel in Belarus, has been on a hunger strike for over a month. Siarhei Tsikhanouski, the prominent video blogger and the husband of Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, is charged with organizing mass protests. Fifty media websites have been blocked and had their licenses suspended. Repressions against independent journalists in Belarus continue.

Dar'ia Chultsova and Katerina Andreeva on trial (February 10, 2020)


On the evening of November 11, 2020, strangers wearing balaclavas arrived in Minsk's residential area known as the Square of Changes. They started removing the white and red ribbons from a fence that had been decorated by the locals. Representing a makeshift flag, these ribbons are the Belarusian protest know-how, as it takes more effort for the government employees to remove them rather than removing a single flag. One of the Square of Changes residents, artist Raman Bandarenka, went out to “defend” the improvised flag. The strangers in balaclavas brutally beat him and took him to the police station. An hour and a half later, he was taken to the hospital in a coma with a traumatic brain injury. Bandarenka died the next day. The last words he wrote in the online neighborhood chat were, “I’m going out!” These words instantly became a powerful hashtag of the protest. A people’s memorial was erected at the Square of Changes. The massive protests that ensued were brutally suppressed by the police, with more than 100 people kettled in the residential complex overnight with no possibility to escape without being arrested. The whole country was shocked by a leaked conversation published by the NEXTA Telegram channel, a major independent Belarusian protest media outlet, on November 19, 2020. It was a phone conversation between Lukashenka’s press-secretary Natallia Eismont and Dzmitryi Baskau, the head of the Belarusian Hockey Federation, during which they said they were planning to go out to cut ribbons together. They also discussed the weapons they should take and how they would transport their captives. No official reaction followed. Then the authorities accused Bandarenka of being intoxicated at the moment of arrest, leading to “0% alcohol” protests taking place across the country. Doctor Artsiom Sarokin and journalist Katsiatyna Barysevich who disclosed Raman’s medical information, were arrested. Journalists Dar'ia Chultsova and Katsiaryna Andreeva were sentenced to two years in jail for conducting the protest live stream from the Square of Changes. The criminal case to investigate the murder of Raman Bandarenka was opened only in February.

Result of Preliminary investigation of Raman Bandarenka's death conducted by By_Pol (January 26, 2021)

Back to the Future

While the outcome of the Belarusian revolution-in-progress remains unknown, this display offers a variety of the artist’s projections onto the future.

Get Out!

Titled Get Out!, the first image reiterates one of the most popular protest slogans, while Nature itself seems to be in agreement with the protesters.

A.G.: Back to the Future

The second work titled A.G.: Back to the Future alludes to the English translation of a popular Soviet-era sci-fi comedy known in Russian as Ivan Vasilievich is Changing His Profession (1973). It narrates the story of tsar Ivan the Terrible, a tyrant from the 16th century Muscovite Rus', who is transported to Soviet Moscow via a time machine. Symbolizing the prison bars, the vertical stripes hint at the likely outcome of the modern-day Belarusian dictator.


This tableau offers the artist’s allegory of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Happy New Year!

The final image represents a Winter Greetings card as another way to hint at what the future might have to offer. A symbol of Belarus and a bird that returns to its home country in the springtime, the stork is eating the cockroach.

Happy New Year! Animation by Olga Tesliuk

Critical Reception

The pun in the title perfectly conveys the dual essence of [Bazlova’s] work: through her embroidery, she captures some of the most important events––both tragic and uplifting––surrounding the protest movement against the self-proclaimed ‘landslide’ victory of President Alexander Lukashenko. At the same time, for Bazlova, embroidering is also a performative act of survival: it is the artist’s cry out against the dictatorial oppression that has first denied free democratic elections to Belarus and then attempted to violently suppress the nationwide demonstrations by arresting thousands of protesters.

- Aniko Szucs (Yale University)

By creatively re-appropriating the traditional technique that is already supposed to be highly symbolic <. . .> [Bazlova's artwork] became a combination of a news report, artifact, and a resistance symbol <. . .>. In this case, creativity is related to the subject matter of the embroidery: the artist is using a familiar technique to stitch an unfamiliar motif that usually appears on photographs or video. This way, the embroidery is creating the effect of ostranenie (defamiliarization)—Victor Shklovsky’s term that refers to the technique of presenting common things in an unfamiliar or strange way so they could gain new perspectives and see the world differently. By removing the ‘‘automatic perception’’ inherent in the everyday, or, in other words, forcing the audience to do a double-take on the image, the artist created a meaningful and powerful medium and image that many of the protestors adopted as well. As a result, Bazlova’s embroidered artifacts have already made it to art exhibits dedicated to the Belarus protest around the world.

- Elizaveta Gaufman (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

Рисунки Базловой отсылают к народной вышивке. Из сотен красных крестиков складываются сценки уличных демонстраций (ОМОН, женщины, автозаки) или язвительные комментарии (с мертвым тараканом, а то и похлеще). Полное ярости сообщение всюду идет в паре с изысканной формой. Терпение и гнев. Это именно то, что мы представляем, читая о событиях в Минске (страшен гнев спокойных людей). Художница вышла за пределы академического поля. Нашла иную визуальную традицию. Заговорив языком вышивки, традиционно женским, дала голос протесту женщин.

- Марчин Виха (Польша)

In the Press


Anderson, Shelly. “The Subversive Stitch in Belarus.” Textile Research Center, Leiden. October 25, 2020. https://www.trc-leiden.nl/trc/index.php/en/blog/1133-the-subversive-stitch.

“Belarusian Artist Embroiders Her Country's Historic Protests.” The Moscow Times. August 14, 2020. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/08/14/belarusian-artist-embroiders-her-countrys-historic-protests-a71150.

Elizanu, Paula. “‘We’re tired of dictatorship. We’re turning a new page.’ 5 Belarusian artists on fighting for their country’s future.” The Calvert Journal. August 14, 2020. https://www.calvertjournal.com/articles/show/12056/belarusian-artists-protests.

McEnchroe, Tom. “Belarusian artist in Prague embroiders anti-Lukashenko protests 'to ward off bad spirits.'” Radio Prague International. August 14, 2020. https://english.radio.cz/belarusian-artist-prague-embroiders-anti-lukashenko-protests-ward-bad-spirits-8689198.

Noubel, Filip. “Meet the artist embroidering Belarus’ protests.” Global Voices. August 11, 2020. https://globalvoices.org/2020/08/11/meet-the-artist-embroidering-belaruss-protests/.


Barkalova, Varia. “Chto nuzhno znat’ o khudozhnitse Rufine Bazlovoi, kotoraia sozdaet zlobodnevnye kartiny o protestakh v Belarusi v stile traditsionnoi belarusskoi vyshivki.” Esquire. August 14, 2020. https://esquire.ru/articles/200003-chto-nuzhno-znat-o-hudozhnice-rufine-bazlovoy-kotoraya-sozdaet-zlobodnevnye-kartiny-o-protestah-v-belarusi-v-stile-tradicionnoy-belorusskoy-vyshivki/#part3.

Lashcheva, Maria. “Ne mogu smirit’sia s tem, chto mozhno tak nenavidet’ svoi narod.” Meduza. August 18, 2020. https://meduza.io/feature/2020/08/18/ya-rosla-s-oschuscheniem-chto-lukashenko-navsegda.

“‘Ornament –– eto kod natsii. I belorusskii protest dolzhen byt’ uvekovechen v vyshivke.’ Khudozhnitsa Rufina Bazlova.” The World News. Ukraine. August 13, 2020. https://theworldnews.net/ua-news/ornament-eto-kod-natsii-i-belorusskii-protest-dolzhen-byt-uvekovechen-v-vyshivke-khudozhnitsa-rufina-bazlova.

Shabashova, Anna. “Poznakom’tes’ s khudozhnitsei, kotoraia rasskazyvaet o protestakh na vyshivanke.” Afisha Daily. August 27, 2020. https://daily.afisha.ru/brain/16805-poznakomtes-s-hudozhnicey-kotoraya-rasskazyvaet-o-protestah-na-vyshivanke/.

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