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International Arts Organisations Join Belarus Free Theatre's Global Artistic Campaign In Solidarity With Belarus

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A raft of cultural organisations will join Belarus Free Theatre's Global Artistic Campaign in Solidarity with Belarus.

On Sunday 9 August 2020, presidential elections took place in Belarus, and since then the country has witnessed its biggest protests in modern history, as the Belarusian people have defied threats of a government crackdown to continue protesting the falsified election results.

This weekend more than 100,000 people filled Independence Avenue in Minsk calling for Alexander Lukashenko to step down, with marches also taking place in 33 cities across the country, including Brest, Vitebsk and Grodno. The EU has stated that it does not recognise Lukashenko as Belarus's president and is moving forward with targeted sanctions on members of his regime. Belarusian artists and arts organisations have made their voices heard too. The National Theatre of Belarus, the Philharmonic Choir, the National Opera and Ballet, the National Art Gallery along with many other artists have been on strike demanding that Lukashenko must go.

On Wednesday 9 September 2020 - exactly one month on from the elections - a raft of cultural organisations will join Belarus Free Theatre's Global Artistic Campaign in Solidarity with Belarus.

On the evening of Wednesday 9 September, the facades of the Barbican, BOZAR (Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels), Curve Theatre Leicester, ENO, Leeds Playhouse, Roundhouse, Royal Court Theatre, Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare's Globe and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington DC) will light up in the colours of the Belarusian flag, with more organisations - including the Young Vic, Battersea Arts Centre, Hampstead Theatre and Malthouse Theatre (Australia) - joining the campaign online throughout the day.

Natalia Kaliada, co-founding Artistic Director of Belarus Free Theatre, said: "Alexander Lukashenko, the last dictator of Europe, has stolen another election from the people of Belarus. Thousands of people have been jailed and brutalised, including four of our Company members, for simply defending their right to free and fair elections. The Belarusian people have made their choice and the country resounds with her name: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Svetlana means light.

International attention and solidarity with the people of Belarus has never been more important and I am thrilled that these world-leading arts organisations will #StandWithBelarus as part of Belarus Free Theatre's Global Artistic Campaign in Solidarity with Belarus. As a Company, we have been standing up for freedoms and against dictatorship for the entirety of our 15-year existence. It is our role as artists to give people space to dream, to think and to hope for a brighter future.

From dusk on Wednesday 9 September 2020, exactly one month on from the elections - these world-leading cultural institutions will light up with our white-red-white colours. They are the colours of the Belarusian flag, colours of courage and compassion, and an expression of our solidarity with the people of Belarus in their hope for a peaceful road to freedom".

For further information and to find out how to get involved with BFT's Global Artistic Campaign in Solidarity with Belarus please visit: imwiththebanned.com.


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