“Step Forward” Short Movies Contest December 22, 2013
Some of you probably know that despite I am living in Poland, originally I am from Belarus. That is why I am trying to be involved in cultural life of my country as much as I can. This video is one of the examples of me trying to make some contribution into the struggle with existing situation in Belarus. For the ones who do not know what I am talking about, let me try to explain this here in couple of sentences.
Unfortunately right now there is a very unpleasant political situation for Belarusian language… in Belarus. Even though officially there are two government languages, Belarusian and Russian, the second one is dominating pretty heavily. First of all due to our natural neighbor on the East (Russia) and lack of true border between our countries. Another reason — pro-Russian president with Soviet state of mind (ruling since 1994 🤦🏻♂) and pocket government. As a result the only way to preserve my language and culture is to do it yourself without depending on government institutions.
Despite all difficulties, after some time the national consciousness has grown. Nowadays more and more initiatives are being started in Belarus aimed at promotion of our history, which is more than a thousand years old, culture and language . One of the initiatives was the “Step Forward” short movies contest which encouraged everyone in the country to speak Belarusian. The idea of the contest belonged to a former football player Yury Yurchanka, who promoted it widely through local independent media (for example on nn.by or on svaboda.org).
I decided to participate in the short movie contest almost instantly. I sent the application, wrote the script with the title “Learn Belarusian. Now or Never!”, gathered my friends to help me with shooting and finally right before Christmas… we won! I was even having a brief interview with a TV reporter on the day of winners announcement, so you may imagine how excited and stressed I was. Fortunately I was with my future wife who supported me as much as she could.