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Angus Robertson Joins Sviatlana Tskihanouskaya For A Performance Of THE PEOPLE WOKE UP

'The People Woke Up' is a new script from ice&fire's long-running Actors for Human Rights project.

Angus Robertson Joins Sviatlana Tskihanouskaya For A Performance Of THE PEOPLE WOKE UP

Cabinet Secretary Angus Robertson MSP joined Belarus Democratic leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and the cast of ice&fire's 'The People Woke Up' at the Scottish Parliament last night

Last night Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who made her way from the Labour Part Conference in Liverpool to be at the event entitled 'Ukraine and Belarus: Free from Russia' said: "I would like to thank the Scottish Parliament for hosting this performance of The People Woke Up along with ice&fire and The People's Consulate of Belarus for their work in making the stories in this production heard. With powerful storytelling like this, the world will watch and listen and one day you will help us remember the struggles of the brave people who sacrificed so much to create a free and democratic Belarus."

'The People Woke Up' is a new script from ice&fire's long-running Actors for Human Rights project, focussed on the 2020 election crisis in Belarus, its fallout and how its impacts are still felt today.

A partnership with The People's Consulate of Belarus in Scotland, this new dramatic work tells the stories of people whose lives were changed forever in Belarus in 2020 following the rigged presidential election where Alexander Lukashenko further extended his 27 year reign. Following the election, hundreds of thousands of Belarusians went out onto the streets to demonstrate and protest for justice and democracy. This resulted in the most widespread and violent crackdown in Lukashenko's reign, with thousands of peaceful protestors arrested, tortured, and killed at the hands of the security forces.

Presented as a rehearsed reading with four Belarusian actors and comprised of first-hand testimony from the Belarusian diaspora across Europe, this new work tells the stories of some of the people who were caught up in these tumultuous events and the impacts that are still felt today.

A unique political education project, 'The People Woke Up' will premiere in Edinburgh with two performances: an abridged version at the Scottish Parliament on September 28th and a full version at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on September 29th, before being made available for touring around the UK. This project is supported by Creative Scotland.

Artistic Director of ice&fire, Christine Bacon, has said: "While the protests across Belarus attracted the attention of the world in August 2020, the cameras have now moved on. However, the people of Belarus continue to resist and risk their freedom and their lives with the aim of removing the Lukashenko regime so a new nation can be built. With this new script, we invite audiences to listen to stories from the people at the heart of this struggle and ask themselves what they can do in solidarity with the people of Belarus."

Irina McLean from The People's Consulate of Belarus in Scotland said: "Sergey Tichanousky - 18 years of imprisonment. Aliaksandr Ivulin - 2 years of imprisonment. Maria Kolesnikova - 11 years of imprisonment. A vlogger. A sports journalist and footballer. A musician. Not criminals but citizens of THEIR country, who want it to be set free of pain, absurd autocracy and dictatorship. It is our pain. Every Belarusian feels it and this amazing opportunity to share it with others should help us to heal. This production will help us to tell our story. The story of our fight."




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