The Estonian Belarusian community has created an exhibition of anti-regime works of art that helps to create an image of the repressions currently taking place in Belarus. The exhibition reflects the artists' position as citizens, but also society's feelings about what is happening: pain, anger, helplessness, fear, hopelessness. The works make us realize that what is happening in Belarus today is the result of senseless crimes of totalitarianism. Like the brutal crimes committed by the Russian military against Ukrainian civilians, these are links in a single chain that prove that the societies of Russia and Belarus, which is in the sphere of influence of the latter, have not learned from history and have reached a stage where such crimes are again possible.
On 9 August 2020, fraudulent presidential elections were held in Belarus, which caused a tremendous response in the country. The people began to protest peacefully, which developed into a large-scale democratic movement against an illegitimate leader. However, these demonstrations, which involved tens of thousands of people, took place in the conditions of the 26-year-long Lukashenko regime and were suppressed by mass repression. As of April 2022, 1 162 people have been declared political prisoners in Belarus, and thousands have been repressed. The trauma of communist terror also lives on in the collective memory. One of the witnesses to this is Kuropaty forest, where tens or even hundreds of thousands of people were killed by the NKVD between 1932 and 1941. The circumstances of the deaths of these thousands have not yet been investigated, and they still lie in the soil of Kuropaty today. Attempting to erase the collective memory is yet another crime for which the Lukashenko regime is responsible.
"Belarusian anti-regime art" does not allow us to forget that Belarus is currently undergoing the same totalitarian repression which the museum's KGB cells speak of. The Lukashenko regime, the KGB cells and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are declarations of the same sort of evil. Artists and citizens who oppose them give us hope that someday good will win.