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eng Automatic Translation

Art Aktivist

2011 – 2014

Selected events

Associated Documents

Articles on KALEKTAR

A portal about contemporary Belarusian art and activism, as well as contemporary theater.

The founder and editor-in-chief of the Art Aktivist portal is Sergey Shabokhin, editor-in-chief of the Art section. The chief editor of the Theater section is Svetlana Ulanovskaya.

The portal published articles about the latest news in contemporary Belarusian art and theater. On the portal, among other things, one could get information of an encyclopedic nature about current Belarusian artists, institutions, projects and other events (the basis for the INDEX project).

According to the creators of the portal, the team managed to solve or point out a number of tasks/questions during the three-year project:

The process of politicization of art. This process was necessary against the background of the growth of creativity and the activation of civil society in Belarus since the end of 2010. Artists and other representatives of the artistic community welcomed the principle of non-interference in the political and critical field. The portal has become the main mouthpiece for constructing and presenting the processes of politicization of Belarusian art.

Exit from underground. To politicize and activate the critical potential of art, a paradigm shift in Belarusian contemporary art was necessary: from the so-called “quiet partisan movement” to art activism. The paradigm was changed and influenced, among other things, guerrilla strategy.

Community consolidation. Like any community with a diverse structure, the participants in Belarusian contemporary art were scattered by numerous conflicts. As part of the activity of the resource, it was possible to noticeably consolidate the community, including the inclusion of Belarusian figures who immigrated to other countries (and whom the majority excluded from the community before the portal, which today seems ridiculous).

Interdisciplinarity. The portal set itself the task, among other things, of consolidating the community of Belarusian contemporary art with representatives of other disciplines: philosophical, theatrical, literary, scientific and others. The most notable role in the implementation of this process, in addition to the portal, was played by the activities of the gallery of contemporary art "Ў". The interaction of different communities strongly influenced the development of Belarusian art.

Feminist whip. The so-called “feminist whip” (quote from Pussy Riot: “The feminist whip is good for Russia”) is also useful for Belarus. Guest editor Tamara Zlobina, as part of her work, updated and raised many gender issues, launched a number of important discussions. Practical issues were also sharply discussed: the inclusion of women in art (literally, the need to understand the observance of gender balance in processes) and the introduction of feminatives.

Publicity. We understood the theory of the culture of rebellion and the reasons for its absence in Belarus, discussed with the guest editor Ulla Tornau what public is (including art in the public space), covered the most notable practices of Belarusian artists in the public space.

Solidarity. Together with guest editor Julia Strauss, we raised the topic of migrants that are relevant today. We tried to update the principles of solidarity in support of each other (the case of the arrest of Vitaly Kalgin) and activists from other countries (for example: Pussy Riot).

Informing. News, information about competitions and residences, news reviews, results of the year, posters, a selection of artists' portfolios, regular publications were the most up-to-date information in Belarusian art.

Manifold. All these and other issues, tasks, processes, publications and events updated by the portal first of all expanded the understanding of Belarusian art, demonstrating the need to include a variety of theories and practices.

Among other theories and terms discussed on the portal, the following were voiced and attempts were made to comprehend the following: activism and art activism, Belarusian avant-garde, interaction art, queer theory, critical art, collecting, rebellion culture, cultural consumerism, curatorship, the Minsk school of creative photography, silent protest actions, museum work, performance art, political, political minimalism, post-colonial theory, right to the city, progressive nostalgia, public, radical art, paradigm shift: from guerrilla to activism, solidarization, creation of a new academy, creation of a new museum, street art, urban studies, feminist discourse, photography, the school of criticism and many others.


Selected dates:

June 27, 2011

The portal was founded and officially presented in Minsk by artist Sergei Shabokhin.


The portal stopped filling up.


The editors of the resource have launched a new project: the research platform of Belarusian contemporary art KALEKTAR.