The Square of Changes
16. 5. 2021 – 27. 6. 2021
Dům pánů z Kunštátu
The photographic series Square of Changes has been made by Yauhen Attsetski from Belarus as an ongoing, time-lapse photographic documentary of a place where locals began to gather spontaneously and demonstrate against the current undemocratic practices of the Belarusian government. More such places have sprung up in Minsk and other cities.
Attsetski’s photographs capture the events and atmosphere of anti-government protests that erupted throughout Belarus after the manipulated presidential election of 9 August 2020. The photographic documentation of the Square of Changes has been further developed since then on an ongoing basis; the “square” in question is in fact a small area among tall prefab buildings that the photographer’s flat windows give on to. It is actually a courtyard in a Minsk housing estate with a playground and a transformer station in the middle. On the wall of the transformer station, an unknown artist painted a graffiti depicting the so-called “DJs of change.” They were among the first protagonists of the protests, two sound engineers who played the protest song Expecting Changes during a pro-regime election rally and raised their hands in a gesture of triumph. They were subsequently arrested, and after their release they had to flee the country to escape further persecution.
The series of photographs by Yauhen Attsetski was installed in the court of the House of the Lords of Kunštát by architect Ondřej Bělica with the aim of developing the idea of a place of importance for people to meet and express their personal and political attitudes.
Yauhen Attsetski (born 1983) is a Belarusian photographer and activist-journalist living in Minsk, co-founder and teacher at the FSH1 Minsk photography school. In the past, he has worked with the Red Cross, UNDP and UNICEF, among others. Besides the Square of Changes cycle, he created a photographic series documenting the development of the punk-rock band Messed Up and their tour of Western Europe, which won him the Grand Prix 2020 in the “Doc” category at the Prafota festival.
The Square of Changes exhibition by Yauhen Attsetski was initiated by the Embassy of Independent Belarusian Culture in the Czech Republic, which was symbolically opened at the Centre for Experimental Theatre in Brno on 17 November 2020 on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. The purpose of establishing the embassy is to promote independent Belarusian culture, which is currently suppressed in Belarus. This is not a political act, but a cultural project focused on independent and free Belarusian culture in a broad range and diversity of manifestations.
Dům pánů z Kunštátu
Dům umění města Brna
Kam v Brně
Turistické informační centrum města Brna
Statutární město Brno