Political Soundwalks: listening to the political protests in Minsk, Belarus

Walking piece details

LanguageEnglish, Belarusian, Russian

Political Soundwalks (Belarus, 2020-2021)

CC-BY-NC: Pavel Niakhayeu

Connected with

When the protests against the rigged presidential elections started in August 2020, ‘soundwalk’ felt an appropriate concept to use while making field recordings at the streets. That’s how ‘Political Soundwalks’ was created – an archive of field recordings I made at demonstrations, rallies, DIY concerts, poetry readings, theater performances, guided historical tours and other forms of sonic and cultural resistance to the dictatorship. (http://soundcloud.com/political_soundwalks)

There were no Covid-lockdowns in Belarus, but walking in the streets at ‘the wrong time / wrong place’, the very act of coming out of your house is political and can have dramatic consequences – arrest, fine, beating, even death.

‘I’m walking!’ – said the 74 year old symbol of the Belarusian protest, Nina Bahinskaja, to the riot policemen that urged her to go away.

‘I’m coming out!’ – were the last words of a 31 year old Raman (Roma) Bandarenka, who has died in November 2020 after he was beaten by the pro-state vigilante. ‘Roma, we’ve came out!” – were our words when we guarded his memorial from the encroaching enforcers and when, instead of the massive street marches, we’ve turned to smaller neighbourhood actions – fast, flexible but more risky.

In this audio-essay you’ll hear how Minsk sounded during the political protests of 2020-2021, how the protesters and the state are fighting for the space with voices, noises and music. The field recordings are the starting points for a discussion on the multifaceted role of sound in claiming the urban and political space in Belarus.

Trigger warning: This audio contains loud sounds of flashbang grenades explosions, people shouting and loud music. Please do not listen to this work, if you’re sensitive to such sounds or have traumatic experiences associated with them.

Music, poems and TV reports recorded at various locations in Minsk are used here for research purposes according to the ‘fair use’ principle:

03:53 – ‘My Biełarusy’ (the State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus)
04:25, 05:10 – Anatol Yarmolenka & Victoria Aleshko (?) ‘Sineokaya’ (‘The Blue-Eyed’)
09:00 – Viktor Tsoy – ‘My zhdyom peremen!’ (‘We are waiting for changes!’)
09:40 – Dzivasil – unknown track
10:10 – Dzivasil – unknown track
14:31 – Paŭlina Skurko reads a poem by Vasil Vitka
15:17 – unknown girl from Donbas reads a poem by an unknown author
16:52, 17:58 – Uładź Lankievič reads his poems
19:10 – Sveta Ben & RSP sound check
19:40 – Sveta Ben & RSP – “Angel”
21:55, 24:16 – Euronews TV reports, November 2020

Pavel Niakhayeu

Pavel Niakhayeu

Belarus

I'm Pavel Niakhayeu (aka Pavel Ambiont, Nieviadomy Artyst) - an electronic musician, A/V artist and researcher from Belarus. I work at the Department of Social Sciences at the European Humanities University (Vilnius, LT) where I teach a course on Sound, Mu...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Also check out

  • walk · listen · café
    New

    Connecting walking, art, nature, and grief, during the pandemic

    Hana Sutch
    Fabiola Santana
    · 2021-08-10 18:00
  • Walking Piece
    New

    Small Small World

    Laila Claessen and Tabor Idema
    · Laila Claess... · Since 2020
  • Walking Piece
    New

    A Secular Pilgrim: Discussing the Efficacy of Pain and Suffering in Endurance Walking.

    Simon Piasecki
    · Since 2021
  • Walking Piece
    New
    SWS21

    Ling received: fishermen of the far haaf

    · Since 2021
  • Walking Piece
    New
    SWS21

    Spaceebah

    Bonnie Sue Stein
    · Since 2021
  • Walking Piece
    New

    September: Coburg and London – Market Place, The Police, Strange Music Day

    occupyingstreets
    · Since 2014
  • Walking Piece
    New

    Unsettling: A Walk through Cranbrook

    JeeYeun Lee
    · Since 2018
  • POINTS D'OUÏE, PAYS...
    New

    Point d’ouïe, traversées de paysages sonores in progress

    Gilles Malatray
    · 23 Jul, 2021
  • Walking Piece
    New

    Treasure Hunt for the Imagination

    · Since 2020
  • Walking Piece
    New
    SWS21

    THE RESCUE OF THE BENVENUE

    Steven M Halliday
    · Since 2021
  • Walking Piece
    New
    SWS21

    Out For A Walk

    Sarah Nicol
    · Anthony Chal... · Since 2021
  • Curated news
    New

    BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Robert Macfarlane, writer

    · 21 Jul, 2021
walk · listen · café
New
Connecting walking, art, nature, and grief, during the pandemic

2021-08-10 18:00

Online

Hana Sutch, co-founder and CEO of Go Jauntly, and Fabiola Santana, who used the Go Jauntly app to create 'A Home for Grief', an invitation to meditate on grief while walking, will discuss their work.

Walking Piece
New
Small Small World

Laila Claessen and Tabor Idema

Slovenië

Walking Piece
New
A Secular Pilgrim: Discussing the Efficacy of Pain and Suffering in Endurance Walking.

United Kingdom

Walking Piece
New
SWS21
Ling received: fishermen of the far haaf

Stenness, Shetland, UK

Walking Piece
New
SWS21
Spaceebah
Walking Piece
New
September: Coburg and London – Market Place, The Police, Strange Music Day
Walking Piece
New
Unsettling: A Walk through Cranbrook

Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA

POINTS D'OUÏE, PAYS...
New
Point d’ouïe, traversées de paysages sonores in progress

23 Jul, 2021

Walking Piece
New
Treasure Hunt for the Imagination
Walking Piece
New
SWS21
THE RESCUE OF THE BENVENUE

Folkestone, UK

Walking Piece
New
SWS21
Out For A Walk

Anthony Chalmers and Sarah Nicol

Curated news
New
BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Robert Macfarlane, writer

21 Jul, 2021