From ice&fire’s long-running Actors for Human Rights project, ‘The People Woke Up’ is a new script focusing on 2020 election crisis in Belarus, its aftermath and the impacts still felt to this day.
Through a partnership with The People’s Consulate of Belarus in Scotland, this new dramatic work follows the lives of people affected by the 2020 presidential election. As a result of this election, Alexander Lukashenko further extended his 27 year reign, despite the many claims that it was rigged with votes falsified. Following the election, thousands of protestors took to the streets but were met with arrests.
The script is presented by four Belarusian actors in a rehearsed reading, and is comprised of first-hand testimonies from the Belarusian diaspora across Europe. The testimonies focus on those by Hanna Komar, Galina Latypova, Dzmitry Furmanau and Kira. (Kira is a political prisoner whose harrowing story has not been widely covered).
Hanna Komar will be acting her character herself and all cast members are from Belarus, their lives and families profoundly affected by the events of 2020.
‘The People Woke Up’ will premiere in Edinburgh with two performances: an abridged version at the Scottish Parliament on September 28 and a full version at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on September 29. The tour will then continue around the UK. The project is supported by Creative Scotland.
“While the protests across Belarus attracted the attention of the world in August 2020, the cameras have now moved on. However, the people of Belarus continue to resist and risk their freedom and their lives with the aim of removing the Lukashenko regime so a new nation can be built. With this new script, we invite audiences to listen to stories from the people at the heart of this struggle and ask themselves what they can do in solidarity with the people of Belarus.”Artistic Director of ice&fire, Christine Bacon
“Sergey Tichanousky – 18 years of imprisonment. Aliaksandr Ivulin – 2 years of imprisonment. Maria Kolesnikova – 11 years of imprisonment. A vlogger. A sports journalist and footballer. A musician. Not criminals but citizens of THEIR country, who want it to be set free of pain, absurd autocracy and dictatorship. It is our pain. Every Belarusian feels it and this amazing opportunity to share it with others should help us to heal. This production will help us to tell our story. The story of our fight.”Irina McLean from The People’s Consulate of Belarus in Scotland