Belarusian art luminaries honored with state awards

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  • 12:37

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented awards to cultural workers at a ceremony in the National Academic Bolshoi Theater on 3 July, Belarus’ Independence Day.

"Tonight is a beautiful evening. It crowns the festive events dedicated to the Independence Day of our country. As we agreed at the time, we celebrate it here, at our Bolshoi Theatre. I am glad to see all of you in good health and I congratulate you on this great holiday!" the head of state said.

The President stressed that for Belarusians, independence is freedom and life gifted by the generation of winners. "We remember that in different periods of history our ancestors defended this freedom not only with weapons in their hands," the Belarusian leader said.

"No nation in the world can be truly independent without a rich cultural heritage and a strong spiritual foundation," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “You, people of art, create it. It is you who capture the historical moment, displaying it in words, music, painting, architecture and sculpture, on film, in digital medium. In other words, you chronicle the life of a generation, the life of our state. We're going to pass away one day, and that's going to stay."

"Your work is what we call historical memory and national treasure trove. This is what makes us a nation and what is one of the conditions for our sovereignty," the head of state added. He stressed that it largely depends on the masters of art whether the independence of Belarus will be strengthened and passed on from generation to generation. It is also important to remember what exactly will be passed on to the next generations.

During the ceremony, the head of state addressed not only the awardees but the entire creative family, the heirs of the winners who in peacetime and in wartime were always with their country, with their people: "Art brought the Great Victory closer. The artists defended the Motherland, raising the morale of the soldiers with their concerts on the front line. Some fought on the front line like the artists of our Bolshoi Theater. Today, the theme of civic duty, patriotism, and devotion to the country both in the cultural environment and in modern art pieces does not sound as acute as then. Unfortunately."

"Please remember that peace is very fragile," the President noted. “We live under a clear sky, but in the conditions of war, an information and economic war, in the face of unprecedented challenges to our independence. It depends on you what Belarus will be like tomorrow, what the future of our Belarusians will be like."

"In the pursuit of fame, do not lose your sense of measure and your personal responsibility," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “It is very easy to cross the line beyond which darkness and betrayal begin. But it is much more difficult to regain trust. I'm talking about the trust of the whole nation. You must create for the people and in the name of peace."

The head of state assured that true talent will always be appreciated in Belarus and not a single brilliant project will be left without attention. "I guarantee you that," the President said. He wished the cultural workers creative inspiration, recognition and success, and new bright projects for the benefit of beloved Belarus.

The head of state noted that in any positive situation, when everything is fine, there is someone who is jealous: "Someone does well, and someone is jealous. Therefore, considering what is happening along the borders of our country, being such an untouched corner where children feel good and we do well... It all depends on us. If we want it better, it will be better. If we don't aspire to better things, then they will not come."

"There is no good to demand more of anyone if you yourself underperform," the President added.

The time is difficult now and the current generation is having it hard, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. Perhaps as hard as it was for the previous generation that rebuilt the country from ruins and ashes after the war. "God forbid, we go through what happened in the middle of the last century on our land," the Belarusian leader said.

"What makes it difficult is that we sometimes do not see our adversary and enemy. Only you can see him with your talented eyes," the President stressed.

Addressing the representatives of the generation that will take the baton from the current one, the head of state said: "I repeat once again: be very careful, do not rush, try to avoid mistakes. Mistakes are very costly to society. Especially the mistakes by the artistic community. Because there are many people behind you, thousands of people who look at you with hope. Take care of our Belarus. We need to make sure that we, and especially our children, families and friends, should never know the horrors that, unfortunately, some people dear to us are going through now, not far from our country.

The head of state presented the Order of Francysk Skaryna to Honored Worker of Culture of the BSSR Galina Kachalova. The Francysk Skaryna Medal was awarded to the vocalist, leading artist of the Belarusian State Academic Musical Theater Evgeny Ermakov, artist of the Tsitovich National Academic Folk Choir of Belarus Victoria Mochalina, craftsman of the Odelsk Center for Culture and Folk Art Maryan Skromblevich and puppet theater artist - leading artist of the Belarusian theater Lyalka Yuri Frankov.

During the ceremony, the President also presented badges to those who were awarded honorary titles. The People's Artist of Belarus title was awarded to the vocalist - the leading artist of the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theater Stanislav Trifonov. The titles of Honored Artist of Belarus were awarded to the head of the Choreography Department of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts Svetlana Gutkovskaya and the head of the Department of Fine Art of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts Vladimir Maslenikov.