Another dismissal for video clip

2010 2010-12-03T19:51:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

A week after the dismissal of Yauhen Shapchyts for a video trailer about an elderly woman, canvassing and passport (, one of the main actors, Pavel Bandzich, followed his fate.

The video clip (where people are advised to hide the passports of their grandparents so that they wouldn’t vote for Zhyrafenka (a fictional candidate for President who reminds of Lukashenka) ) was watched online by 23,000 people on the first day of its appearance on the web. Later, the producer Yauhen Shapchyts (who still was a video engineer of the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company at that time) said: ’I am studying at the Academy of Arts now. And it’s my first coursework, so to say, ‘social advertisement’.’ Though the official defense of a work takes place in March, the administration of the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company decided to assess it earlier, and gave an ‘unsatisfactory’ mark, not for the artistic merits, but for the ideological direction.

Yauhen Shapchyts: ‘There were no bullying, no pretensions. The following day after the video appeared on YouTube I was invited for a talk by my direct boss. He thanked me for my work and said: ‘You understand it all… and I do. We won’t be able to work with you any longer. Please, write an application for dismissal ‘on the agreement of the sides’. Earlier it was called ‘on one’s will’, now it’s ‘the agreement of the sides’, because of the contract system of employment.

A week after the dismissal of the producer of the video, Yauhen Shapchyts, Pavel Bandzich, one of the main characters, was dismissed as well. Pavel was working in the International Ecological University named after Andrey Sakharov as the head of the theatric studio and had an indefinite labor contract there. However, he was politely asked to retire: ‘I didn’t start a conflict as I had very good relations with the whole collective of the university, including the rector and the provost. I obeyed their request and wrote an application for retirement ‘on my own will’. By the way, in the both cases the direct bosses of the guys cast their eyes away.

Shapchyts: ‘It was not my direct boss who watched this video, but higher officials. As far as I know, the investigation was conducted by Aliaksandr Martynenka, Deputy Chairperson of the Belarusian TV and Radio Company, the head of the TV Channel ATN.’

Pavel Bandzich, who played a collector of signatures in support of a presidential candidate Zhyrafenka, states that his dismissal was ordered by ideologists:

’It was an order. My bosses had to implement it, that’s why I am not angry at them.’ The video had no budget at all – the camera was taken from friends and all actors agreed to play free of charge, just to support the idea. Pavel Bandzich hasn’t started looking for a new job yet. Yauhen Shapchyts, on the contrary, has many interesting proposals already.

’Many other ways are open to me now. Now the work is looking for me, not I am looking for it’, he said.

By the way, not only the Belarusian ideologists decided to play safe – the video was removed from youtube because of ‘inappropriate content’ (but later was restored).