The Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk festival has become a celebration of friendship and understanding, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the opening ceremony of the 28th edition of the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk on 11 July.
“At this gala concert I would like to warmly welcome all those who have come to the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar, everyone thanks to whom the city and the entire Belarus literally live by art, music of the festival, speaks different languages. “We welcome all who have come to us to share this beautiful holiday - a true celebration of art, friendship and understanding,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state noted that it was how the festival was conceived in the early 1990s. It was a response of the artistic community to the collapse of the great multi-ethnic country. “They teamed up to save the brotherly relations between the newly independent states. It is logical: in difficult times people always turn to art for moral support,” the President stressed.
According to him, it was was not by accident that Vitebsk was chosen to be the cultural capital of the Slavic countries: this city has a special creative vibe. “It was home to great avant-garde artists: Malevich and Chagall. They gave the world the black square and the young lovers soaring over the city,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
He noted that the creative atmosphere reigning in Vitebsk for half a century inspires vibrant diverse festivals. Many of them already gather most talented musicians, choreographers, designers and artists from different countries. “We helped to preserve the status of Vitebsk, a city with rich cultural traditions, by having supported Slavianski Bazaar at the state level. In due time we simply saved Slavianski Bazaar after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And we did right. Every year we host friends from all corners of the globe. The Slavic world, which probably many in the west did not take seriously once, has become the nucleus, the center of attraction for many peoples. Today Vitebsk hosts representatives of China, Cuba, India, Israel, the United States of America. We welcome them. Traditionally in July Vitebsk is an example of the most hospitable and musical city,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko wished participants successful festival performances, the jury fair judging, viewers the most positive emotions and good mood and everybody good weather.
People’s Artist of Ukraine and Ingushetia Taisia Povaliy has been honored with the special award of the Belarusian President “Through Art to Peace and Understanding”. The head of state presented the award to the singer during the official opening ceremony.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Slavianski Bazaar, which has raised the whole generation for 28 years of its existence, has started many good traditions. One of them is to honor the wonderful artists who contribute by their art to the strengthening of friendship among peoples.
“This year we present the special award ‘Through Art to Peace and Understanding’ to the outstanding singer and good friend of not only Belarus but also Russia - People's Artist of Ukraine Taisia Povaliy. Her story is special: she won the Grand Prix of the Vitebsk Song Contest on this stage. Today the star with her name was deservedly unveiled on the Square of Stars of our festival,” the President said. The head of state wished that Taisia Povaliy’s artistic path will become an example for everyone who takes their first steps in the world of music, including Belarus’ representative Ksenia Galetskaya who won the Grand Prix of the Vitebsk Junior Song Contest in 2019. The young singer also received her award from the hands of the President. “I would like the career of this winner to follow in the footsteps of that of Taisia Povaliy,” added Alexander Lukashenko.
Taisia Povaliy noted that the special award of the Belarusian President has becomes a very important event for her. “The fact that I receive it on the Belarusian land is also very important for me because it is here that everything is being done for the sake of peace, friendship and understanding between peoples,” the singer said.