The Last Dawn: Belarusian musicians against the death penalty (video)

Participants of the project Aposhni Zolak (“The Last Dawn”)
Participants of the project Aposhni Zolak (“The Last Dawn”)

The Minsk-based Graffiti club hosted yesterday the presentation of the project of Belarusian musicians called Aposhni Zolak (“The Last Dawn”). In this way, a number of famous musicians, among them Hanna Khitryk, Aliaksandr Pamidorau, Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich, Anastasia Shpakouskaya, Viktar Rudenka, Liavon Volski, spoke against the death penalty. Last year they had a big concert in Bialystok, and Belarusian fans were able to watch it online.

Originally, the concert was expected to be the final part of the project, but its coordinator Siarhei Budkin considered this insufficient. And now the concert has been released on CD and DVD. The video was rewired and sand artist Anastasia Shastak recreated the original compositions to the songs. In addition, audio materials were finalized and remastered, and new videos were added to show famous people and musicians speaking against the death penalty. As a result, what we get is a unique edition.

The initiators of the project (human rights defenders of the HRC “Viasna” and the campaign “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty”), as well as the project coordinators and the performers themselves spoke during the press conference that opened the presentation.

In particular, Anastasia Shpakouskaya (Naka) said that the issue cannot be indifferent to “every thinking and adequate person”. “I think that this is the aim of artists – to change the world with their works. And it was the kind of opportunity when people through their talent can give hope that the world can become a better place to live... Unfortunately, I understand that this project will not change the law of Belarus, but I realize that I did something to remove the death penalty from Belarus,” said she.

Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich admitted that he “likes working on complex topics, because the world lives in the mode of entertainment. Everybody wants to play, no one wants to talk about death, about serious things. I was curious: if we can make at least a man and a half pay attention to this problem, isn’t it enough for the life of one artist.”

Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich said that this project would remain in history, including due to the fact that for the first time in Belarus musicians have created such a big joint concert. And then an album on the issue of abolishing the death penalty.

Coordinator of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty” Andrei Paluda says that Aposhni Zolak is primarily aimed at making Belarusians pay attention to this problem, because many of them still do not know about the practice of this kind in Belarus.

Book «Capital punishment in Belarus»


Death verdics in Belarus since 1990