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Our Own Banksy. Graffities That Mock High Officials Appear In Minsk Over And Over Again

From the beginning of March socially acute street art pieces are appearing on the same wall in Minsk over and over again. Each time communal workers paint out unpleasant (for the authorities) graffities within several hours. A man who introduced himself as an activist of the group that created these posters told the reasons for doing that. 

Ihar Shunevich

Poster of Ihar Shunevich, Belarus Minister of Internal Affairs, wearing form of the Soviet secret police.

The man wanted to remain anonymous, but according to his words, the posters were created by two or three people. Most of them work in advertising business. One poster costs 15-20 Belarusian rubles ($8-11). They are glued to buildings at night or early in the morning.

Once we discussed with the guys that all of us complain about the president. But there are still a lot of other elements of the system. They often initiate certain laws, bring them to life and are also responsible for the situation that has already developed. We think it would be good if people discussed officials more. That’s how he talks about the idea to create posters“, the artist explains.

How do you choose a place for posters?

Ideally, these are places where there is more or less good traffic in the morning. So that people can make photos in front of the poster. But now the communal services work very quickly. Maybe, the posters will last longer in sleeping areas.

vulica_brasil_20160917_shuk_tutby_phsl_9434

More of Minsk street art see here 

Are you afraid of being detained?

We do not paint on the wall, we glue posters, so it’s easy to remove. If it is attributed to vandalism, we will be fined. On the other hand, we do not insult state officials. There are only the facts about them. 

But are you afraid of when you glue the posters?

When you do something and you are sure that it is the right thing, there is no fear.

Why do you need it at all? You could just live doing nothing…

All people are living their ordinary life now, that’s why we have been living like that for more than 20 years. We don’t want to live like that. 

The man says that the group is going to develop the idea of street art on socially acute issues in the regions making posters of local councilors. We asked our acquaintances, but it turned out no one knows who their councilors are or what they do… It would be a good topic in the regions. People see that they pay taxes to support local agencies, but it is not clear what the officials are doing. So that the people can call and ask what their councilors do“, he says.

What have appeared on the wall (and not only there)? 

5 March. The very first poster portrayed ex-Minister of Labor and Social Protection Marianna Shchetkina. She is considered to be the author of the controversial tax on the unemployment. The inscription near the official’s image read: “I invented the ‘parasite tax’”.

The portrait and words dissapeared but, for some reason, the shoes did not. So a few hours later someone laid flowers, the Contitution and a paper folder typically used by Belarusian officials to what had remained.

6 March. The next day someone wrote: “Well, you understand…” over the covered portrait. But the man assures that they didn’t do this inscription.

15 March. Passers-by noticed a lot of small appliqués on the same wall depicting the chairman of the Council of the Republic, the former Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich. 

16 March. The stickers of “green men” — the army men with weapons and without identification marks — appeared on Oktyabrskaya street. This happened after the protests against ‘parasite tax’ when law enforcements agents in plain clothes cruelly detentined people. 

24 March. Martin Luther King’s quote appeared: “Never forget that everything that Hitler did in Germany was legal“. The man says that they also have nothing to do with the quotation. In his opinion, the idea of gluing social posters was simply “picked up by the people“.

27 March. The police posters appeared in different parts of the city center after the Freedom Day rally ended with mass arrests. One of them depicted Minister of Internal Affairs Ihar Shunevich wearing NKVD form. The inscription read: “I’m proud of wearing form and using approaches of NKVD“. Another graffiti portrayed the head of Minsk riot police Dmitry Balaba saying: “I managed the mass detentions. For your money“. The third poster depicted the head of police of Minsk region Igor Evseev with the phrase: “Me and my guys kidnap“.

Igor Shunevich / TUT.BY

Igor Shunevich. Photo: TUT.BY

Dmitry Balaba / social media

Dmitry Balaba. Photo: social media

Igor Evseev / social media

Igor Evseev. Photo: social media


Source: TUT.BY

See also: Someone Adds Scandal To Controversial Street Art Gifted To Minsk By Moscow 

10 Things To Do In Minsk Like A Local