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    …On behalf of the Brest theatre Kryly Khalopa, we declare that we condemn the military actions of Russia on the territory of Ukraine and we want peace!

     In 2003, our theatre staged an anti-war performance for 3 weeks as a sign of protest against the war in Iraq.  In 2017, we created a performance audio documentary guide about the extermination of the Jewish community in Brest in 1941-1942.  In any country in the world, anyone can download the Brest Stories Guide application to their phone and hear eyewitness’ accounts of how much horror and death war brings.

    For 20 years we have been trying with our art to respond quickly to the political situation and social injustice.  This is our way of changing the world and expressing our position.  Today we cannot give a quick theatrical response to what is happening in Ukraine: all theatre participants are scattered around the world.  But we are looking for ways, and we also protest against the war and support our Ukrainian friends in all available ways.

    We grieve and are appalled that the land under our windows in Brest has become a training ground for military operations.  War is destruction, death, violence, misfortune for people, loss of a home.  All generations of Belarusians after World War II repeated as a mantra “if only there was no war.”  We were taught to fear and condemn war.  It is hard to believe that we are inside a new war.  Today, thousands of people are becoming refugees, fleeing their cities, spending nights on the subway, seeking asylum, losing their homes. For women who never choose war, war also carries the threat of rape, as history shows.

    Belarusians, who lost every third inhabitant during World War II, cannot want war.

    Today, Belarusians are actually deprived of the opportunity to take to the streets of their cities and protest.  Jail may await them, like many of our brave people who are in prison today.  But today we see that people from our community condemn military actions in Ukraine, help Ukrainian refugees, collect aid, and are ashamed that the Belarusian land has become a testing ground for aggression.

    We want to say “NO!” to militarism and war!  We want peace in Ukraine and in our home!  We want men not to kill other men and also women and children!  We demand an end to hostilities!  We demand Peace!

    On the cover: Maria Prymachenko. May That Nuclear War Be Cursed! (1978)