33booksforanotherbelarus 33booksforanotherbelarus

Нетутэйшыя: Reversion


Alena Lepishava, Zmitser Vishnev, Viktor Zhibul

About the book

For Belarusian literature, the 1990s were a time of liberation from the rigid corset of the Soviet literary tradition, in which only certain themes and forms were permitted. In the transition period, new forms and unusual combinations of genres proliferated, even the boundaries between different artistic genres, even the boundaries between everyday life and art, no longer seemed so firm: literature turned into performance, which took on theatrical features, only to penetrate the everyday life of a literature museum in the next moment, for example, as a coffin with a living poet in it.

This anthology presents for the first time the groups central to this period: Bum-Bam-Lit and the Society of Free Literary Men. It provides a comprehensive overview of authors and their works, of mini-dramas and performances, of the breaking of aesthetic norms and of unconventional writing and staging strategies in Belarus.

The book is based on the concept of Nietuteishyia ("Non-Natives"), a collection of plays prepared for publication in the late 1990s and early 2000s by representatives of the literary and artistic movement Bum-Bam-Lit. However, this edition never made it to publication.

The current edition contains additions to the original collection: a study of Belarusian theatre and performance art in an international context, art manifestos, a chronicle of cultural life, comments by active participants, photos of literary, artistic and theatrical actions and many other documents. The anthology is aimed at a variety of readers, from specialists in the field of contemporary art to those interested in learning more about the subject. Zmicier Vishniou sees the topicality of this book above all in the freedom that is currently so lacking in Belarus.

The book is published in the series DENKT KUNST of the Centre for Arts and Cultural Theory (ZKK) at the University of Zurich.

The book was supported by the Centre for Arts and Cultural Theory (UZH).

About the publisher

Halijafy was an independent Belarusian publishing house founded in 2007. On 16 April 2022, it had to cease its publishing activities by decision of the Belarusian Ministry of Information.

For 15 years, the Halijafy publishing house published books by contemporary Belarusian authors who belong to the independent literary and artistic scene in Belarus. Among the authors of the Halijafy publishing house are Volha Hapeyeva, Alhierd Baharevich, Julia Cimafeeva and Valiancin Akudowitsch, who have also been translated into German. Halijafy's publications have been awarded several non-state literary prizes in Belarus, and two of the books were chosen as "Book of the Year".

Diaphanes is a Swiss publishing house based in Zurich. Its publishing activities focus on literature, philosophy, the humanities and art; among the books published are numerous translations. The publisher is Michael Heitz.


Alena Lepishava (* 1983 in Minsk) is a literary scholar, literary and theatre critic and writer. She studied and obtained her doctorate at the Belarusian State University in Minsk. Alena Lepischawa has contributed to collective monographs and written articles on contemporary Belarusian literature, theatre and experimental art for magazines such as Dzeyaslou ("Verb"), Tsirk Olymp + TV ("Circus Olympus + TV"), Druzhba narodov ("Friendship of Peoples"), Teatral ("Theatregoer"), Mirgorod, etc. She currently lives in Minsk.

Zmicier Vishniou is a Belarusian prose writer, poet, artist and literary critic. He was a co-founder of the literary movement Bum-Bam-Lit, which was one of the most important currents in Belarusian literature in the 1990s. He is the author of nine books in Belarusian, including the anti-novel If You Look Closer - Mars is Blue (2018). From 2007 to 2022, Zmicier Vishniou was the head of "Halijafy" - one of the leading independent publishing houses in Belarus. Since July 2022 he has been a fellow in the Writers-in-Exile programme of the German PEN.

Viktar Zhybul was born in Minsk in 1978. He studied at the Belarusian State University. He is the author of a number of poetry collections: "The Saboteur in the House" (1996), "The Horns of Mountains" (1997), "The Disgusting Cry" (2001), "Diaphragm" (2003), "Kill Socrates in yourself!" (2008; with Vera Burlak), "Stapelia" (2012), "The Woodpecker and the Hollow" (2016), and of several plays. Zhybul is an active contributor to the Bum-Bam-Lit avant-garde movement (since 1996), various literary literary, theatre and music projects, art actions and performances.

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