In summer, Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon came to Minsk to interview then President Lukashenko. You can read a short retelling of the conversation, for which Gordon will later apologize in Ukraine, on KYKY. Today on Gordon's YouTube channel there was a conversation with the real leader of the Belarusians - Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, in which she talked about Tikhanovsky, Lukashenko and the future of the country and her own. We have written down the main questions and answers.
Gordon: Did Sergey often say that he loves you?
Gordon: Does a woman need to hear frequent declarations of love?
Tikhanovskaya: It is more important to feel love in actions. Though words are important too. But when there are many words, and nothing is done, then it is not love.
Gordon: There are rumors on the internet that Sergei may have behaved despotically. Is it true?
Tikhanovskaya: The fact that he is a leader, that he was not restrained is true. I could have shouted, somewhere not very approving about me, but I don't think he did it out of spite. This is a trait of his character. Sometimes it was offensive, of course, but there was nothing that could not be forgiven.
Gordon: Have you been together for 15 years, have you thought about divorce during this time?
Tikhanovskaya: There is a joke: I didn’t think about divorce, but I was often ready to kill.
Gordon: Are Belarusians a proud people?
Tikhanovskaya: I think Belarusians are a proud people, but they forgot about it. Or maybe they never thought about it. I also lived without analyzing ... The country is ruled by a usurper, a man who does not respect his people. It never occurred to me to rebel against it. This is some kind of obedience psychology.
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When, on August 21, 1933, eighteen-year-old Violetta Nozières confessed to poisoning her father, the French press exploded with indignation against her. According to public opinion, Violetta was a "frivolous girl", showing tendencies characteristic of newly-made "emancipated" women, leading a dissolute life, in contrast to her hardworking peers. It didn't matter if the accusations were true, in any case, the press decided to make her a scapegoat.
And yet, there was still a lonely voice of disagreement: the surrealists demonstrated their support for collective creativity, choosing Violetta as their Black Angel, a muse who will inspire them to continuously fight against the bourgeois mentality and its myths about the law and order, logic and reason. The system that led to the social inequality of the post-industrial era and to the horror of the First World War was, according to the surrealists, irreparably flawed. To defeat it, not only a political, but also a cultural revolution was needed.
Thus, the emancipation of women was fundamental to the overthrow of capitalism and patriarchy, starting with a challenge to the bourgeois perception of women as inherently good, selfless, submissive, ignorant, godly and obedient.
Poetry. Liberty. Love. Revolution. Surrealism is not whimsical escapism, but expanded awareness. The lack of boundaries and censorship provided a safe place to discuss and process the collective trauma of World War I, and also gave vent to the creative needs of women.
Although they were welcomed and actively involved in the movement, the surrealist understanding of women is still very deeply rooted in idealization stereotypes. Women were either perceived as muses and objects of inspiration, or aroused admiration as infantile figures gifted with a vivid imagination due to their naivety and predisposition to hysteria.
It was through the work of surrealist women that women's identity really got the chance to flourish, firmly entrenched in the art world, as they appropriated the myth of the muse to express their full potential as active creators. For a long time, women artists were remembered mainly for their relationships, often sentimental, with male artists. Only recently has their work been independently analyzed and given the attention it deserves.
Valentina Hugo was born in 1887 and received an academic education as an artist who studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts. Growing up in an enlightened and progressive family, she followed in her father's footsteps, becoming an illustrator and draftsman. Known for her work with Russian ballet, she has developed strong professional ties with Jean Cocteau. Through Cocteau, Hugo met her future husband Jean Hugo, great-grandson of Victor Hugo, and André Breton, the founder of the Surrealist movement, in 1917.
This friendship brought her closer and closer to a newly formed group of artists, which included Max Ernst, Paul Eluard, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. During this time, she joined the Bureau of Surrealist Studies and exhibited her work in surrealist salons in 1933 and in the Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1936.
Suffering from the suicide of fellow surrealists Rene Crevel and the departure of Tristan Tzara, as well as Eluard, she left the Surrealist group forever. In 1943, her word was included in the Peggy Guggenheim Exhibition of 31 Women. Her first retrospective exhibition took place in Troyes, France, in 1977, ten years after her death.
Meret Oppenheim was born in Berlin in 1913 but moved to Switzerland at the start of World War I. Her mother and grandmother, who grew up in a prosperous family, were suffragettes. Grandmother was one of the first women to study painting. At her home in Karon, Meret met many intellectuals and artists, such as the Dadaist painters Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings, as well as the writer Hermann Hesse, who married her aunt (and later divorced her).