18 June 2018 All news


The Street Art Fest "On Seven Winds" is the most recent project of “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk", but it is hard to imagine the arts forum without it. What is its phenomenon? 

To answer this question, you just need to be out on the festive city streets and give yourself up to the gust of the festival wind.

Where it will blow from and what it will bring to Vitebsk are the secrets known better to Vlada Tsviki, the project manager, the chief stage director of the Center of Culture “Vitebsk”.

- Last year’s Fest featured 100 creative teams, about 600 artists, musicians, poets, dancers, fire show artists from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Ecuador, Nigeria. This year, 155 applications with a total number of over 800 participants have been registered. 12 July is the day when the Vitebsk groups start performing on the street venues, which is followed by "Today for today" performances at 10 a.m. daily until 16 July. The Opening of the Fest, 13 July, features a parade-presentation. The fancy-dress performance-procession “Non Stop” on the pedestrian precincts to the rhythms of the Brazilian drums “Raccoon Batucada” is to be held until the festival closing.

- How many and what venues are to be used for the shows?

- According to the number of winds, they are seven: the Concert Hall “Vitebsk”, Tolstoy Street, the Modern Arts Center (“Arts Space Tolstoy, 7”) and its inner yard, Pushkin Bridge, Pushkin Square, “Lyalka” Theater. Special attention is given to the venue in front of the Concert Hall “Vitebsk”, which is to host the Art market of young artists, a quest-performance by the Historical Reconstruction Club “Vargernthorn” and a fire show. The only roofed stage is to be constructed and equipped on this venue, and we call it venue N1. Last year, the rain gave no chance for some shows to be presented. The people came and never performed. They are coming this time again. Musicians and DJs will work near the Concert Hall. The schedule of the events in the program is interesting. In the morning and afternoon they are aimed at middle-aged people, while at night the target audience is young people. There will be something to see, to buy and to eat.

- But the rain also added some special colours to the Street Art Fest, didn’t it?

- It did. Thanks to last year's rainy weather, this year we will see female drummers beating Brazilian rhythms. They claim to set a festival record, to measure the festival streets in steps and beats. A mixed collective of 80 people from Minsk, St. Petersburg and Moscow is to walk about the city and pace out the measures of all the processions. It happened because the first and only in Belarus school of carnival Samba and Brazilian drums “Raccon Batucada”, which took part in “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk-2017” and performed in the pouring rain, shared its enthusiastic impressions, and this year it has been joined by other cities. Now we have a belief, if the festival stands the test of rain, it will have a long and happy life. The rain, probably, washes away fears and restraints and unites people.


- Apart from the rain, what is the secret of success of the Street Art Fest?


- This is a city initiative, as art tourism. People come to the festival at their own expense and bring what they love and what they want to share. The Fest includes seven directions where creative people can express themselves. When we started four years ago, the street theatres had the lead. This year there will be only seven of them from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Performers are widely represented, from living statues to an improvised battle to the music, which will be shown by the Minsk group “Capoeira”. It is interesting to observe how this or that trend develops. The living statues were previously present as motionless images, while this year they will show a performance.

Performance means action. There will be a lot of it and in different forms. Poets, musicians, puppeteers will also come out to the streets. The creative initiative has no limits; we welcome everything that is interesting and creative. For example, “Teatr Otkrytyh” plays poetry. The favorites of the Vitebsk spectators are the theater “Bespredel” from St. Petersburg and the family theater of shadows “Abazhurchik”. There is a wide range of dances to be presented, from social, Indian, to Brazilian, break and others. The chamber choir is expected to perform the classical repertoire in the garden square.

- Will there be something totally new?

- This year we are launching the art market, which is a kind of visual performance with bright young artists, well-known to the virtual community. We really want to posture Vitebsk as a city of artists. Generally speaking, everything will be new. The Street Art Fest is supposed to change, it catches the audience’s mood. It is improvisation in an urban environment. Some professional groups and artists bring their new programs, songs, albums to see how relevant they are and whether people like them. But the main thing is to perform on the streets of the festival capital during “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”, which is very prestigious for everyone. There exist many legends about the Vitebsk audience. It is a tuning fork. If our city gives a favorable reception, success is assured in other places. By the way, our website and our VK group have information about all the groups and teams. This year, we are using a mobile application (codes available on the web), which we tested last year.

Despite a great number of participants, the Vitebsk groups and collectives are to have the major load. I am very grateful to the Vitebsk teams. First of all, I would like to thank the Studio "Dom Vetra", the Theater "Koleso". This year we are showing an interesting performance "Improvisation".

The recent news is that the Festival will have its own hashtag #1K7V.

The IV Street Art Fest, keeping the best traditions, will expand its borders, which will allow a large number of participants and guests of the arts forum to plunge into the unique festival atmosphere in the heart of the festival Vitebsk.

Tatiana Kuzmenko