|After a meeting between musicians and officials in Minsk on 21 November 2007, the musicians who were blacklisted in 2004 are now again allowed to perform live and to be played on air in the radio, since that day – but… on one condition: the bands should not play at events organised by the political opposition.
The reputed ‘blacklist’ consisted of bands that had been performing at a concert protesting the ten year anniversary of Lukashenko’s presidency in Bangalore Square in the capital Minsk on 21 July 2004. These artists and bands were popular rock and folk music performers in the country:
The (comparatively) good news from Minsk that these musicians are no longer to be censored, (except for the one condition about performances at the opposition’s events) was reported to Freemuse by a member of the German kulturaktiv.org who also commented that:
• “This proves that – in contrary to all earlier announcements from the officials in Minsk – a censorship list did actually exist. It proves that basic rights of artists were recognised, and violated. Such violation would normally cause a juridical aftermath and clearances in any country other in Europe, but apparently not in Belarus.
• It seems that the pressure from abroad pushed the regime in Belarus to work on solutions.
• The main problem still remains: just the knowledge in itself that such a censorship list exist(ed), is reason enough for musicians to create an effective system of self-censorship. ”
Belarus: Musicians removed from 2004-blacklist
29 November 2007