August 2020, peaceful protests are ongoing. In one of these, Pavel Latushko, director of the Janka Kupała National Theatre took part; he was fired the following day. As a former minister of culture, politician and diplomat (he was notably Ambassador to Poland), he requested an investigation into the brutal treatment of those arrested during peaceful protests. The Theatre’s staff stood up in defense of their director, requesting he returned to the job. Actors declared to file their resignations if their requests were not granted. The Belarusian Minister of Culture who came to the theatre answered it was impossible—and that resignation letters would be addressed by the new general director. Consequently, more than 60 employees left the Theatre, including leading authors and the artistic director. In this way, the Janka Kupała National Theatre was practically annihilated on its 100th anniversary.
The audio feature includes daily Facebook posts from a Janka Kupała National Theatre actress, Krystyna Drobysz, who documented her feelings on the destruction of the theatre—and her country. I have used many recordings from the streets of Minsk, my own music, and that of several other composers working for the Kupała Theatre. I also quote two poems that were written a few weeks ago.