Amadeusz Świerk

Photographer's portfolio

  • Children playing around a monument to Lenin in the small town of Pariche, east of Minsk. Belarus is the last country in the world to still build them, and there are more than 700 streets across the country named after the leader of revolution.

  • A billboard advertising the army in the center of Minsk, depicting young people who have "already made their choice."

  • Istok was born in Minsk. He has travelled through many countries and recently came back from the US. He was planning to start a career as a rapper.

  • General rehearsals the day before the military parade on the big stage in front of the Great Patriotic War Museum.

  • B-boys performing on the street just 100 meters from the main military parade route.

  • Ira and Malvina - young punks hanging out at Pesotchintsa, one of the capital's main hipster spots.

  • Wealthy people partying in front of the Bolshoi Theater.

  • A few days after the parade, a performance by the underground Belarusian Free Theater takes place in an ordinary garage somewhere in the middle of a socialist realist apartment block on the outskirts of Minsk.

  • The play is called "Welfare" and makes fun of society's flaws, showing them in a distorted mirror, playing with emotions and political allusions.



July 3 is Independence Day of the Republic of Belarus. Every year on this occasion, the authorities organize a military parade that follows the arteries of Minsk. During this time, the city becomes a space of contrasts between dozens of soldiers and ordinary Belarusians leading normal lives.

In the summer of 2019, one could not yet sense in the air what was to happen a year later. Thanks to the European Games, visa traffic was lifted for a while and anyone from the rest of Europe who had some kind of ticket could visit the Republic of Belarus. Just a year later, the country experienced many brutally suppressed protests against the government, making it even more oppressive. Since then, many people have been arrested, and most of the younger generation has been forced to leave the country. All of my Belarusian friends currently live foreign lives outside its borders.

The series shows everyday life and the last scraps of more liberal part of Belarus society around this sublime time of national celebration.

© 2024 Amadeusz Świerk