This is another expression of support for Belarusian journalists who are currently imprisoned. Ernie Barbarash, a US American filmmaker, participated in the Marathon of Solidarity with imprisoned journalists, a campaign initiated by BAJ. He chose to show support for journalist Larysa Shchyrakova from Homel. Her criminal case is currently being considered by the Homel Regional Court.
Ernie Barbarash wrote that seeing the posts of Sviatlana Tikhanouskaya and Pavel Latushka on Instagram from the Tutaka festival in Poland inspired him to join the Solidarity Marathon. He chose a photo of Larysa Shchyrakova, with whom he was regularly in contact since 2021 until she was detained.
Ernie Barbarash, who was born in Odessa in 1977, is a director and screenwriter. He moved to Canada with his parents and currently resides and works in Los Angeles, USA. Every week, he posts a story on his social media about a Belarusian political prisoner. He reconstructed the painting The Storming of the Bastille by creating a mosaic of prisoners’ photos.
Ernie Barbarash told Viasna that there are various factors that motivate him. The primary focus is on the prisoners, who are innocent people jailed for simply attending protests. Their stories include tales of active resistance against the regime, as well as being imprisoned for merely commenting on social media.
“I believe it is our responsibility to continue fighting for them. They bravely took a stand for what they thought was correct, and paid the heavy price for it. They are unable to fight from their confinement, but we, on the outside, are free and should fulfill our duty by continuing the fight. I am upset by the unfairness and chaos of what is happening to people in Belarus, which is a modern country in the heart of Europe. The more I learn about these individuals and their grieving families, the more I feel the need to assist,” the director said.
We would like to remind everyone about the Solidarity Marathon in support of Belarusian journalists.
The marathon of solidarity with the journalists of Belarusian political prisoners was launched on May 3 in Vilnius by a joint action of the BAJ and the Lithuanian Union of Journalists.
Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and other countries have already joined the call.
BAJ calls on journalists around the world to support the solidarity action! You can print portraits of imprisoned Belarusian media workers, take pictures with them in outstanding places in your city (not in Belarus) and post them on social media using the hashtags #СвабодуЖурналістам and #BecauseTheJournalist. Don’t forget to send them to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another online solidarity marathon called “We care!” will be held on Saturday, July 29. By participating in the marathon, you can provide financial support for political prisoners. Over 20 independent media organizations, BAJ included, are going to participate. The marathon will be live-streamed on several independent YouTube channels from 10 am to 10 pm Minsk time.