Updated at 14:17,22-06-2022

Nobel Prize not enough. Alexievich hardly deserves title ‘Hero of Belarus’ - Culture Ministry


The Belarusian Ministry of Culture has explained why it is impossible to give the title ‘Hero of Belarus’ to the country’s first Nobel laureate, writer Svetlana Alexievich.

“I received a response to the collective appeal ( signed by 334 persons) to nominate Svetlana Aleksievich for the title of Hero of Belarus,” activist Uladz Stashkevich said on Facebook.

“The title of Hero of Belarus is the highest distinction of the Republic of Belarus and is awarded for exceptional services to the state and society which are associated with deeds committed in the name of freedom, independence and prosperity of the Republic of Belarus”, the letter signed by Deputy Culture Minister Vasil Chernik says.

“Having regard to the above, Svetlana A. Alexievich cannot be put forward for the title,” the top official added.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”.

Svetlana Alexievich is a Soviet and Belarusian investigative journalist and prose writer. Her most notable works are War’s Unwomanly Face (monologues of women in the war speaking about the aspects of the Second World War which were hardly mentiond before), Zinky Boys (first-hand accounts from the war in Afghanistan ).

After persecution by Lukashenka regime, she left Belarus in 2000. The International Cities of Refuge Network offered her sanctuary and during the following decade she lived in Paris, Berlin and Gothenburg. In 2011 Alexievich moved back to Minsk.

In 2013, after receiving the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Union the writer said that the Belarusian government ‘took no notice of her’.

Belsat TV was be the only Belarusian television channel broadcasting online the ceremony of Svetlana Alexievich receiving the Nobel award for literature. State-run Belteleradiocompany, ONT and STV ignored the event.