On 26 November, the 90th birthday of the Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkievich, the video reading campaign #freewordsbelarus (https://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.com/freewordsbelarus/)will be launched on the EWC DailyMotion-channel. The joint action of the European Writers’ Council (https://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.com/) (EWC) and the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL) is a strong sign of solidarity with the Belarusian  people and the detained Belarusian authors and artists.

“It is with horror that we, the writers and translators of Europe, follow the current situation in Belarus”, says Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC). “Dictators have always threatened authors and artists first because that is where the most intrepid resistance can be expected. Our colleagues stand in the front line to defend the values of democracy.” – “But they are not alone”, adds Morten Visby, President of the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL). “Europe is watching and will not look away: We see the regime’s violence and oppression, we see the attacks on freedom of expression, but we also hear the brave voices from Belarus refusing to be silenced. We stand by you – and raise our voices for the Belarusian democracy movement.”

The solidarity campaign #freewordsbelarus presents “The Border” from the book “Frescoes” by Barys Pjatrovitj, the Chair of The Union of Belarusian Writers, translated into English by a translator who prefers to stay anonymous – for safety reasons. The Border, read in 35 single sentences, is recomposed, piece by piece, and reader by reader, by the voices, faces and feelings of European writers and translators. The complete list of the Presidents, Chairs and Board Members (next page) speaks for itself.

“Taking an immediate stand for the Belarusian people is crucial and decisive. Not only as an act of solidarity with the people of Belarus, but also in a broader sense for the inviolability of democracy and freedom of speech in the whole of Europe”, underlines Grethe Rottböll, President of the Swedish Writers’ Union, who initiated this supportive action together with the Chair of the International Council, Viveka Sjögren Bangoura. “With the #freewordsbelarus action, 36 presidents and board members from 33 writers’ and translators’ organisations from 22 countries raise their voice for the Belarusian democracy movement, representing 120,000 authors from Europe, who stand in solidarity.”

An excerpt from The Border, by Barys Pjatrovitj:

… and there is no need to mention the cycle, the onset-rising-shining-setting, the border between the light and the darkness that is called “evening” in the evening and “morning” in the morning, and which – in one country – is called totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and the incursion of tyranny.

#freewordsbelarus #Свабодныясловыбеларусь is created in a collaboration of the European Writers’ Council (EWC) and the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations (CEATL) on the initiative of the Swedish Writers’ Union together with the Union of Belarusian Writers. The 36 readers – see the complete list on page 2 – show their support with white and red garments, the colours of the democracy movement in Belarus.

Read more: europeanwriterscouncil.com/freewordsbelarus/ (http://europeanwriterscouncil NULL.com/freewordsbelarus/)

EWC on Daily Motion: dailymotion.com/europeanwriterscouncil/ (http://dailymotion NULL.com/europeanwriterscouncil)

#freewordsbelarus 36 Presidents, Chairs and board members of 33 writers’ and translators’ organisations from 22 countries representing 120,000 authors, join voices to support the democracy movement in Belarus
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