Aleh Ablazhei: It is difficult to convey death penalty by artistic allegories
October 5, an exhibition of a well-known Belarusian artist from Vilnius Aleh Ablazhey opens in Minsk as a part of the Week Against the Death Penalty.
On the eve of the opening of the exhibition the artist told the website of HRC "Viasna" about the peculiarities of his work on the series "Six arguments against the Death Penalty", which took the eponymous human rights film of the same name, and his personal attitude to this problem.
- Aleh, you are a well-known illustrator, including of children's fairy tales. The theme of death is very difficult psychologically ... How did the work over the posters went?
- To be honest, the first impulse was to refuse. I'm used to draw dragons and princesses, and that was such a difficult topic ... On the other hand, I worked a lot in, so to speak, public journalism, that's why I had to think over and comprehend many problems. However, artistic expression is much different from expressing oneself with words. That's why it was quite difficult to work, the more that the deadlines were tight.
- How did you search for the metaphors to translate "Six Arguments against Death Penalty" in such impressive artistic images?
- On the one hand, I wanted to make metaphors concise and succinct, as required by the language of the poster. On the other, it was necessary to make them understandable to everyone. So, I turned to traditional symbols - the skull, cross, heart, angel ...
- Do you have a personal argument against the death penalty? What would you say to a supporter of the death penalty on yourself?
- I thought, first of all, about Belarus: if miscarriage of justice happens even in the United States, it is even more likely to happen in our country. It was proved by the case of the blast in the Minsk metro – few people believe that the real perpetrators of the crime were punished. These six arguments seem to sufficiently delineate the nature of the problem, that's why I cannot add any personal one to them.
Aleh Ablazhei, artist, literary worker. Member of the Union of Belarusian Writers. Born in 1954 in the Navahradak district. Has been living in Vilnius since 1979.
Graduated from Moscow Distant People's University University of Arts, Vitsebsk Pedagogical Institute (the faculty of arts and graphics) and Lithuanian Art Institute (department of graphical arts).
Writes poems and makes illustrations for fairy tales.
In 1997 in Warsaw there was published a book "Siedembajekokrolewnach" ("Seven Tales of The Princess"), with illustrations by the author. Several other books are waiting to be issued.
He also writes publicist articles, stories and aphorisms for adults. Has collaborated with the magazine “Dzejaslou”, the almanac “Kuferak Vilenshchyny”, the newspapers “Nasha Niva” and “Svaboda”, drawn illustrations for Belarusian, Polish and Russian printing houses.
Also translates from Polish and Lithuanian and maintains a blo at the Belarusian Radio “Racyja”.