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For more than 27 years, Belarus has been ruled by Alexander Lukashenko. A whole generation of young people has grown up, that does not know life without the autocratic ruler. What does it mean, how does it feel to grow up under those circumstances? What is it like to live in a country, where development of democratic values such as individuality, freedom of expression, and self-realization is prohibited?

Due to the ongoing repressions, there are less and less people that are rebelling and resisting. Those who stay in Belarus have to adapt, take refuge in indifference or preserve their freedom within. Passive, disaffected and clueless, they have to come to terms with the rules of the regime.

My work “While I was waiting“, deals with young people who are searching for individuality which is not desired in Belarus. People who are discriminated against, because of their sexual orientation, political attitude or because of a different way of living or thinking. People, who are following their own path instead of doing something that is expected by society. Self-realization can only take place in private space whereas young people in public are forced to adapt. The feeling of fear and surveillance is constantly present. Instead of getting involved in politics, people withdraw themselves into privacy. By focussing on their own life they are trying to avoid reality almost completely. 

In my project you can see portraits of young people. By showing intimate moments I want to give an insight into their lives: I want to show what it means and how it feels to live

under these circumstances. All of my photographs were taken before summer 2020 and show the situation prior to the protests: a hopeful waiting for change.

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