‘Self # Governing’, Marina Naprushkina, 7th Berlin Biennale @ KW, April 26th, 2012

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Known in Western democracies as “the last European dictatorship”, Belarus became an independent country after the collapse of the USSR. It has been under the authoritarian rule of President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994. For years now he has used repression as a political tool against the opposition; civilians are at the mercy of the whims of the military, the Internet is under surveillance, and there is barely any free press. This is arguably the high price that the population has to pay for Lukashenko’s alleged, much-touted “stability” for the entire country.

Marina Naprushkina works in close collaboration with key figures of the cultural and political scene in Belarus in order to strengthen democratic processes in the country. 2011 saw the first edition of Naprushkina’s newspaper, Self # governing, whose aim is to develop future models for Belarus outside of the bloc-building confines of the EU or Russia. The newspaper’s Russian edition was widely circulated in Belarus thanks to the efforts of many activists. The second edition of the paper analyzes the patriarchal, masculinist system of government in Belarus. It shows how women themselves unwittingly perpetuate this model, and possibilities for changing the situation. Considering the recent wave of protest and resistance across the globe, Self # governing can be read – and used – as a guide for daring to think about political alternatives worldwide. Text by Martin Schibli.

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Project partners: Kalmar Konstmuseum, Sweden; Krytyka Polityczna, Poland; Olga Karatch, Nash dom, Belarus; Marina Naprushkina and Irina Solomatina, Institute of Future, Belarus; Tobias Weihmann, Germany; Utrikespolitiska Institutet, Sweden.

Text source: http://www.berlinbiennale.de/blog/en/projects/self-governing-a-newspaper-of-marina-naprushkina-20074

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