Dmitrij Strocev: Poetry of Resistance



Dmitrij Strocev, Kim Chadeev, Veniamin Ajzenštadt, non-conformism, Belarusian poetry, Belarusian dissent


This article is devoted to Dmitry Strocev (Minsk 1963), one of the major voices of Belarusian poetry in Russian. The investigation begins from the political and cultural context in which Strocev develops his vision of the world and of art, namely the multi-faceted world of Belarusian dissent in the second half of the 20th century. Particular attention is devoted to two personalities who have been fundamental for Strocev: Kim Chadzeeŭ (Kim Chadeev), the driving force behind the “second culture” of Belarus, with whom Strocev comes into contact at the beginning of the 1980s, and Veniamin Ajzenštadt (known by the pseudonym Blažennyj), with whom he shares the same artistic and existential tension, which takes the form of an open dialogue with God, but imbued with concrete reality. The poet becomes an “apostle of things”, in a vision that never separates the transcendent from the immanent and finds in the mythical vision a key to interpreting the history of his country. After identifying the main sources of Strocev's poetry, the article briefly traces its evolution, from the first collections, influenced by avant-garde experimentation and Moscow conceptualism, to the last poems, in which the poet explores new genres and introduces elements of surrealism into the chronicle of everyday life. The last part of the article is dedicated to Strocev’s most recent production, the “protest poems” (protestnye stichi) first published on Facebook, and then translated into several languages (Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian, Italian, German, Swedish) through which Strocev gives testimony to the most recent history of Belarus in revolt. The aim of the article is to present the figure of Dmitrij Strocev within the context of Belarusian poetry in Russian, highlighting the sources, themes and language that the poet uses to communicate his view of the world and to express through art his opposition to Lukašenka’s regime.





European Belarus