Belarusian Theatre and the 2020 Pro-Democracy Protests

Belarusian Theatre and the 2020 Pro-Democracy Protests

Documenting the Resistance

By Valleri J Robinson

This book highlights the important creative work of Belarusian theatre and filmmakers seeking to raise awareness of the Pro-democracy movement and human rights abuses in Belarus and to build communities of care and mourning following the fraudulent 2020 presidential elections in Belarus.

Paperback, 250 Pages


April 2024

£20.99, $24.95

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About This Book

This book explores and documents the performances of resistance and memory in key works by the Belarus Free Theatre and film director Aliaksei Paluyan, the Belarusian playwright Andrei Kureichik, and the Kupalautsy theatre in the aftermath of the protests against Belarusian dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka and the fraudulent presidential elections of 2020. The book examines the work of these artists to document the events in Belarus in order to bring international attention to the 2020 crisis in Belarus, to build community among Belarusians and global supporters of the Pro-democracy movement, and to collectively mourn the traumatic experience of participants, political prisoners, and those who lost their lives in the struggle.
The analysis builds on digital and film performances along with personal interviews, published interviews and reviews, manifestoes, and hundreds of scholarly and newspaper articles. The introduction to the book provides the historical context for understanding these critical performances and the political and cultural events in Belarus before, during, and after the contested election of 2020. Each chapter centers on a few key works by Belarusian theatre artists, primarily in exile, that demonstrate the impulse to document the events and sustain community affectively through theatre after the fraudulent 2020 presidential election. These performances demonstrate the resolve to verify their experiences of those “who spoke out against the lawlessness and violence of the authorities” before disinformation campaigns and emerging events in the region threaten to misrepresent this important historical moment.


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Author Information

Valleri Robinson, Department Head and Associate Professor of Illinois Theatre, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, writes and teaches about documentary theatre, 21st-century dramaturgies, and Eastern European diasporic performance. Robinson is author of Russian Culture and Theatrical Performance in America, 1891-1933 (2011).


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