Playbills of a theatric piece about bilingualism disappeared

2010 2010-03-05T16:12:40+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Translations, a play staged in Yanka Kupala Theatre by Mikalai Pinihin, has been left without bills at which a girl with a taped mouth was depicted.

In the pedestrian underpass at Kastrychnitskaya metro station the entire program of Yanka Kupala National Academic Theatre is printed on a pink sheet of paper in A4 format. Where have the bills of Translations play noticeable from a distance disappeared? The cashier does not know. She says that she is not responsible for pasting promotional posters.

‘It is not there, as it has been removed. It had been banned probably,’ said a cashier in an interview to RFE/RL.

The same situation is in pedestrian underpasses near the State Department Store and at Yakub Kolas metro station, where a brisk trade in tickets is taking place. Though the program of Yanka Kupala Theatre’s plays is in a larger format there, there is no girl with a silenced mouth there as well.

The administration of the theatre hasn’t said anything specific about that. At least, no written documents have been received on the matter by the board of directors.

The author of the theatre bill, a prominent Belarusian artist Vladimir Tsesler (Uladzimir Tsesler) says he is surprised by such a close attention deserved by his work:

‘I was told by some people: there were bills, and now they have disappeared. But personally I do not see anything subversive in them. Most likely, the situation was the following. In order to show in which way English language was forced into application in Ireland, artists who are Irish dwellers speak Belarusian, and Englishmen speak Russian. And this parallel has probably become a sort of irritant. But is it a problem, for God’s sake! But what can we do?’ the artist said.

It is true, the first spectators of Translations say that the plot of the play by an Irish playwright Brian Friel is really relevant or the modern Belarus. Ireland, 19th century. Dwellers of a small village Baile Beag live in their own world: a family, household, love, rows and baptisms, a little school. But once English military men arrive to the village to turn it into an English settlement Ballybeg. In fact, Translations is a story about Ireland’s colonisation by England, about how one language squeezes away another. Amid these events a love story of an Irish girl and an English soldier is taking place. They speak different languages and cannot find understanding. And only the force of a true love overcomes language barriers.

This is anyone's guess what high official has been alarmed by the play. There were suspicions that the Public Council on Morality headed by Mikalai Charhinets was had a hand in the decision to ban visual advertising of Mikalai Pinihin’s play. Recently this council tried to ban a concert of cult band Rammstein in Minsk. Yesterday the former police general took part in festive events dedicated to the Day of Police, but his colleague and fellow member of the Council Aliaksandr Miadzvedz says that he does not remember that contents of theatre bills were considered at some sessions. However, in any case the opinion of this body has a consultative character and conclusions of its experts could be just taken note of.