Belarus, once an integral frontier of the USSR, remains steeped in the Communist legacy, which ruled the daily lives of the nation for over 70 years. Since the regime’s fall, Alexander Lukashenka the first elected President has ruled what has often been called “the last dictatorship in Europe” disregarding human rights, rigging elections and making constitutional amendments in his favour.
This has seen mounting pressure from Western nations and strong opposition led by Belarusian youth urging Lukashenka to abide by international human rights laws and step down as President. However as Lukashenka’s time in office stretches indefinitely, there appears to be a growing resignation to his autocracy. With no protests for over a year and a half, public dissent is suppressed, and it seems that the opposition has lost some of its impetus for change.
This project juxtaposes the veneer of public normality with the more open experiences behind closed doors. The portraits are a testament to the activists, journalists and politicians who still refuse to be give up despite hundreds of protesters being arrested since the last elections.
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