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Ales Pushkin

  • artist
  • aktivist
  • performer

Artist, activist, performer. Organizer and director of the gallery "At Pushkin".

In addition to the active exhibition activity that began during perestroika, Ales Pushkin took an active part in the national revival movement. It was the time of the emergence in Belarus of such youth historical and cultural organizations as Toloka, engaged in the restoration of monuments, educational activities related to the revival of the Belarusian language and national symbols.

Today, Ales Pushkin is viewed by authorities at various levels as a potential and real threat to the existing political order. In 2006 and 2010, during the presidential elections, he was preventively detained for several days by the police. And on March 25, 2014, the authorities of the village of Bobr, where the artist lives and periodically creates situationist actions, staged a whole performance, preventing Ales Pushkin from holding a performance and an open-air exhibition of his works ArtOccupy.

Lives and works in the village of Bobr (Belarus).



Artist 's personal website

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Selected events

Selected artworks

Associated institutions

Associated Documents

Selected dates:

August 6, 1965

Born in the village of Bobr (BSSR, today the Republic of Belarus).


Studying at the Republican boarding school named after Akhremchik in the class of Petr Sharype.


He continued his studies in monumental and decorative art at the Belarusian State Theater and Art Institute (today the Belarusian State Academy of Arts).


He was drafted into the ranks of the Soviet Army . Served in Afghanistan. After demobilization, he continued his studies at the institute, already in the 2nd year.


In the 4th year of the institute, Ales Pushkin organized the first circle of the Belarusian Popular Front .

Ales Pushkin was arrested for 15 days for participating in organizing a rally dedicated to the autumn Day of Remembrance of the Ancestors.

March 25, 1989

During the celebration of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Belarusian People's Republic, Ales Pushkin carried out the first Sots Art manifesto in Belarus : 12 posters written by him with content contrary to state ideology were planned to be carried along the main avenue of Minsk to the square in front of the Government House. One of the posters depicted the state flag of the BSSR of 1951 and the inscription "Enough socialist, let's revive people's Belarus!". The column managed to pass only from the Theater Institute to the Press House, where the artist was arrested along with the other 130 people. The authorities reacted with a campaign against the artist in the press, and also, on March 31, 1989, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the BSSR by decree amended the Administrative Code: responsibility for the use of unregistered symbols - flags, emblems and pennants - increased. Ales Pushkin was sentenced to 2 years probation and five years of disqualification.


As a diploma work, he created a monumental painting "History of his school" in the lobby of the Republican boarding school for fine arts named after Akhremchik. The painting occupied an area of 215 square meters and exists to this day.

Since 1991

Member of the Belarusian Union of Artists .

March 23, 1993

The artist opened one of the first private non-commercial contemporary art galleries in Belarus "At Pushkin" in Vitebsk, which existed until 1997. The gallery occupied an area of about 50 meters and was located near the Marc Chagall Museum.


He made monumental wall paintings of the Orthodox Church in his native village of Bobr, restored after the destruction in 1936. The theme of the mural in the episode Judgment Day again had a political connotation. On the right hand of Christ, the righteous were drawn, on the left - sinners (the faces looked like real people, for example, Alexander Lukashenko). After the fresco was shown on the RTR television program Vesti Nedeli in 2005, the church authorities sent Archpriest of the Minsk diocese Nikolai Korzhych to Bobr, under whose supervision the scandalous part of the wall painting was plastered over . On February 17, 2011, by a strange coincidence, this wooden church burned down after its consecration by Patriarch Filaret.


Laureate of the second National award "Charter'97" in the field of human rights protection in the nomination "For courage in art".

He held his most high-profile performance "A Gift for the President" when he overturned a dung cart in front of the administration of Alexander Lukashenko. For this performance, the artist was sentenced to two years of probation.

In 2006 and 2010

During the presidential elections, he was preventively detained for several days by the police.

March 25, 2014

The authorities of the village of Bobr, where the artist lives and periodically creates situationist actions, staged a whole performance, preventing Ales Pushkin from holding a performance and an open-air exhibition of his works ArtOccupy. Most of the presented works were paintings on topics that had nothing to do with politics. A tractor that raises columns of dust and rides on an artist with an easel; people in black leather jackets carrying paintings from place to place, one of whom tears Ales Pushkin’s painting off the easel and drags it along the ground, then rips off the “Pursuit” coat of arms from its reverse side and breaks it – this performance played by the authorities refers to the history of the confrontation between the states and the artist, as, for example, in the Soviet repressive tradition of the times of the "bulldozer exhibition".

March 26, 2021

The Grodno prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against Ales Pushkin. The reason was the placement of a portrait of the leader of the anti-Soviet underground Yevgeny Zhikhar at an exhibition in the Grodno "Center of City Life", which was interpreted as "rehabilitation of Nazism". It is worth noting that the painting was painted in 2014 and was previously exhibited in Belarus and Russia. At that time, the artist himself was in Kyiv, where he participated in the exhibition of Belarusian protest art "Skin Day". Even knowing about the criminal case, Pushkin decided to return to Belarus.

March 30, 2021

He was detained in the village of Zhilichi, Kirovsky district, Mogilev region, where the artist worked on the restoration of the Bulgakov Palace.

End of November 2021

Ales Pushkin was sent for a psychiatric examination , and in December he was finally charged under Part 3 of Art. 130-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (intentional actions to rehabilitate Nazism committed by a group of persons) and Art. 370 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (desecration of state symbols). The artist was offered to write a petition for pardon, but he refused. In one of the letters from the pre-trial detention center, Pushkin talks about the portrait of Zhikhar: “I find people with a real, characteristic Belarusian history, almost forgotten. Yevhen Zhikhar is one of them. "). The portrait of Zhikhar is a collective "image of Belarus in the war of 1939-1945 between East and West, between two totalitarian systems - Soviet and German" .

March 10, 2022

The Minsk city court began to consider the artist's case. Ales Pushkin refused the services of a lawyer, and also expressed distrust of the court. The police removed Pushkin's wife Yanina from the hall because she said a few words to her husband. After that, it was decided to make the process closed. According to the human rights center "Vesna", on March 10, three people who came to support Pushkin were detained in the courthouse. It is known that two of them, Vitaly Boris and artist Ales Tsirkunov, were sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest for "picketing": badges on a backpack and a passport cover with the "Pahonia" coat of arms. Ales Pushkin, being in a punishment cell, where he was sent for 13 days for "inappropriate behavior" at one of the court hearings, in protest against his imprisonment and 5,000 political criminal cases opened in Belarus, scratched his stomach .

March 30, 2022

During the reading of the verdict, Pushkin undressed to show the cross-shaped scratches , and demanded the release of all political prisoners. The artist also thanked those present for participating in the political performance. Ales Pushkin was sentenced to five years in prison in a strict regime colony by partial addition of the sentence: 4.5 years in prison under Part 3. Art. 130 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (rehabilitation of Nazism) and a year of restriction of freedom with referral to an open correctional facility under Art. 370 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (desecration of state symbols). "The verdict did not come as a surprise. At one of the meetings, Ales himself said that he expected and was ready for the fact that he would be sentenced to the maximum, that is, for 12 years, but expressed the hope that he would be rehabilitated afterwards. The sentence - five years - is very tough, even detention for an hour is against the law, because Ales was tried as an artist. No arguments were given for what he was guilty of. He was guilty of painting a picture, and she had been exhibited more than once in state galleries before that , "says in an interview with DW Sergei Budkin, head of the Belarusian Council of Culture (Belarusian Council of Culture) - an association of independent cultural figures. Also, according to him, Pushkin interfered with both Soviet functionaries and those who came to power in Belarus after 1994.

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  • actionism
  • activism
  • canvas
  • censorship
  • national
  • oil
  • painting
  • painting / fresco
  • political
  • religion
  • violence
  • vitebsk
  • white-red-white flag
  • бобр