“Gender Route”. “Women’s Emancipation Project: Between Utopia and Reality (to the Centenary of the Revolution of 1917)”, 06.09 — 06.10/08.09 — 29.09

The role of the revolution in understanding what has become a part of our daily life is no longer realized. The project of women’s emancipation has received proper reflection and continuity neither in discourses nor in practices. And probably it was in 1917 when one of the milestones of the displacement of the immediate initiative repression by the institutionalization of female activism and its merging into a formal agenda was laid – within the new system the government took up the task of solving women’s problems.

How do historical collective narratives and personal, more hidden, narratives of women activists who have not yet found a place in the “brotherhood” of the fighters for independence coexist today? Few people remember that the signature of the leader of the Belarusian Socialist Revolutionary Party Paluta Badunova can be found in the charter of the proclaimed Belarusian People’s Republic (BNR). In 1937, she was arrested by the NKVD, in 1938 she was shot away in Minsk and in 1989 she was rehabilitated. Badunova’s notebooks seized during her arrest still remain unpublished. Or the story of Alena Kish’s (1896(?)-1949) painted carpets (so-called “dyvany-malyavanki”, in Belarussian), which still exist between local oblivion and the attempts of national revival while the artist herself has already been recognized internationally. Her name as that of the only representative of Belarusian primitivism is mentioned in the “World Encyclopedia of Naive Art” published for the 100th anniversary of Henri Rousseau.

Against this backdrop, the events in Ukraine related to the protests in Euromaidan and later – the armed conflict in the Eastern part of the country that led to the changes and the development of the emancipation project or the Kurdish women’s battalions “the Islamic state” militants are afraid of (since a person who died at the hands of a woman can not to go to heaven) are worth special attention.

On the one hand, the threat of violence and poverty makes women more vulnerable to the new socio-economic situation. On the other hand, during military events, women manage to challenge traditional gender roles and gain recognition and respect from the community for their active civic position. But, the question whether women can be at war remains open. Some fight for legal and factual equality in all social spheres, and the army is no exception here, others insist that war is “men’s games”. Some feminists argue that women’s joining military service is important for achieving equal rights and full citizenship. Others believe that militarism hardly contributes to the achievement of equality in general, and advocate pacifist and anti-militarist views, insisting that the army must cease to exist, and the military must renounce the implementation of violence.

Within the framework of the exhibition, we would like to discuss how the “transitional” state of societies affects the promotion of the women’s agenda.

The exposition has two parts. «Inception» shown in the space «Canteen XYZ» (Fabritsiusa Str, 4 Minsk) includes the works of the Belarussian painter Zhanna Kapustnikova from «Dazhynki» project (2013), the pages from Svetlana Alexievich’s book «The Unwomanly Face of War», the Belarussian film «Painted Paradise» (2010) by Galina Adamovich and «Paluta Badunova: Remember and Do Not Forget» (2012) by Valery Mazynskiy, as well as a series of photos from the Ukranian project «Invisible Battalion» (2015). The other part – «Тo be continued» – is shown at «CECH» space (Oktyabrskaya Str, 16 Minsk) and it presents Zhanna Kapustnikova’s works from the project «Other Dazhynki» (2015), photo project «Rojekê, One day» and the film «Gulistan, Land of Roses» (2016) by a Kurdian Zaynê Akyol.

Presented by “Gender Route”, curator Irina Solomatina.

06.09 — 06.10
“Canteen XYZ” Gallery

14:00 – 22:00, daily


“Canteen XYZ” Gallery, 19:00

«Тo be continued»
08.09 — 29.09
“CECH” Gallery

Kastryčnickaja Str, 16
12:00 – 22:00, daily


“CECH” Gallery, 19:00