“Last Dawn” as an opportunity to share one's position on the death penalty

2013 2013-10-07T18:33:44+0300 2013-10-07T18:33:44+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/aposhni_zolak_3.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Hanna Khitryk

Hanna Khitryk

The rock concert “Last Dawn”, dedicated to the issue of the use of the death penalty in Belarus, was held on 5 October in Bialystok. Thanks to the online broadcasting, it was wathced by thousands of Belarusians, regardless the border between Poland and Belarus, the "black lists" of the musicians who took part in the concert, and a ban on the discussion of the topic of the death penalty in the public space in Belarus.

According to the coordinator of the campaign " Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus" Andrei Paluda, the idea to organize the concert came to him several years ago. “We have always understood the importance of the informational component of the campaign – it is necessary to distribute the information on the death penalty in the country as wide as possible. For this purpose, we recorded the video, where the famous Belarusians and other people expressed their opinions on this matter. Then we came to the idea that musicians can reflect their position in the best way not through words, but through songs. That's how the idea to hold this special concert was born."

The project was recorded in Bialystok Philharmonic Hall. Musical accompaniment was practically orchestral. The idea of the concert was to combine several types of art, so each song was accompanied by video installations and live sand pictures which supplemented the songs, giving additional information on the death penalty. The views of famous people on the death penalty were voiced as well. Sting, Uladzimir Arlou, Valiantsin Stefanovich and Adam Hlobus raised their voices against the death penalty.

At the concert, each performer presented two songs dedicated to the topic of the death penalty. Liavon Volski sang about crucifixion, Aliaksandr Pamidorau – about the gas chambers, Hanna Khitryk chose the topic of guillotine, Ales Dzianisau addressed the subject of shooting, Nasta Shpakouskaya wrote a song about the electric chair, Viktar Rudenka sang about poisoning and Zmiter Vaitsiushkevich – about the gallows.

After the concert, Aliaksandr Pamidorau said: “The topic of the death penalty is very difficult. It is important that we, the musicians, were given the opportunity to express our position. The concert went even better than we expected."

The project "Last Dawn" was organized with the support of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and timed to the World Day against the Death Penalty, which is marked on 10 October. The same day, the recording of the concert will be broadcast again. A TV version was shot during the presentation to be published on DVD.

Ales Dzianisau at the concert "The Last Dawn". Photo by Radio Racyja.
Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich
Liavon Volski and Hanna Khitryk. Concert "Last Dawn". Photo by Radio "Racyja"