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  • Vitebsk Communal Services Painted Over the Graffiti of Birds


    The famous graffiti on the wall of a house in Vitebsk was painted over with three ugly grey squares, a typical sign of work of municipal dwelling services.

    The birds set free from cages were hid behind the squares of grey paint. It was done on pur­pose, as one more graf­fi­ti below and the walls touched by decay stayed pris­tine.

    In Novem­ber 2014, some BAJ mem­bers took pho­tos in front of the paint­ing with paper­cut birds and cages, as a sym­bol of free word. The pho­tos were used lat­er on social pages, on the local and BAJ web­sites as part of Stand Up For Jour­nal­ism cam­paign


    A month lat­er, all peo­ple rec­og­nized in the pho­to were fined for stag­ing an unsanc­tioned pick­et, and one more per­son got a three-days arrest.

    Pavel Lev­in­au got the biggest fine of all.

    BAJ and the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists expressed their indig­na­tion and mis­un­der­stand­ing of such ruth­less reac­tion of the author­i­ties in a state­ment. Our col­leagues from the EFJ staged a sim­i­lar pick­et with the only ques­tion com­ing to mind over this sit­u­a­tion — what can be crim­i­nal about it?

    The pho­to has become a dis­turb­ing point for the unsanc­tioned pick­eters, they came back to it over and over again, and they fell in love with the paint­ing, as much as any local res­i­dent there.

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, nobody could even think of the grue­some end for the art­work.

    Amaz­ing­ly, the art­work does not stop car­ry­ing the mes­sage to their supre­mat­ic minds — the signs of cages and birds any­way show through the lay­er of paint.

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