About the Exhibit

The Code of Presence: Belarusian Protest Embroideries and Textile Patterns is co-sponsored by the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, the UCLA Department of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Languages and Cultures, and Chrysalis Mag. The exhibit is curated by Belarusian-American independent scholar and curator Sasha Razor, archival scientist A.M. LaVey (with support from the Art Libraries Society of North America’s Wolfgang M. Freitag Internship Award ), and research assistant Kendra Eaton (with support from the Imaginative Activism of Digital Citizens grant award).

Acknowledgments and Sponsors

Special thanks go to Irina Aristarkhova, professor at the Stamps School and Digital Studies Institute, members of the Imaginative Activism of Digital Citizens project (Irina Aristarkhova, Fee Christoph and Kendra Eaton), and librarians Jamie Vander Broek, Caitlin Pollock and Brendan Nieubuurt for their support of the exhibition. In addition, we would like to thank Elena Gapova, Volha Labacheuskaya, Valentina Kiselyova, Antonina Stebur, Ilona Dergach, and Mikhail Gulin for their assistance and access to archival materials, as well as Chrysalis Mag for helping promote this exhibition. 


Belarus Fashion Week. 2018. “Mark Formelle by Vasjuchenka&Starikova,” BFW. Cited by http://www.bfw.by/ru/designers/32969/ (consulted 29 August 2021).

Belarus Freedom Forum. Cited by https://belarusff.org/. (consulted 15 March 2022).

Chatham House. 2021. “Belarusians’ views on the political crisis – November 2021.” Cited by  https://www.chathamhouse.org/2022/01/belarusians-views-political-crisis (consulted 15 March 2022).

Chrysalis Mag. 2021. “9 books, films, and artworks that define independent Belarus,” The Calvert Journal. Cited by https://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/13059/9-books-films-and-artworks-that-shaped-independent-belarus (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Dergach, Ilona. 2021. “Калі формы становяцца стаўленнем” [When forms become the attitude]. Exhibition Catalog. August 17, 2021. Krynki Gallery. Krynki, Poland. Self-published. 

Dergach, Ilona, and Masha Maroz. 2020. “It is important for me to understand how the reality in which I find myself is formed,” Saliva.live. Cited by https://saliva.live/masha-maroz (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Hrodna.life. 2020. “70-метровый бело-красно-белый флаг вывесили на Старом мосту Гродно” [70-meter-long white-red-white flag was hung on the Old Bridge in Grodno]. Hrodna.live. Cited by Hrodna.life https://ru.hrodna.life/2020/08/16/70-metrovyj-belo-krasno-belyj-flag-vyvesili-na-starom-mostu-grodno/ (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Gapova, Elena. 2017. "Things to Have for a Belarusian: Rebranding the Nation Via Online Participation," Digital Icons no. 17: 47–71. 

Gapova, Elena (ed.). 2006. Календарь-2006: Женщина-ткачество-нить-судьба. [Women of Belarus: A Social History. Series Calendar 2006: Belarusian Textiles]. EHU International. 

Greer, Betsy. 2007. “Craftivism Definition.” Craftivism. Cited by https://craftivism.com/definition/ (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Kovrik, Oksana. 2020. “Альона Кіш і Язеп Дроздович: світ душі людини та художника в роботах майстрів білоруського розписного килима” [Aliona Kish and Iazep Drozdovich: the word of a human and an artist in the work of masters of the Belarusian painted rug]. In Lozhkina, Alisa (ed.) Космос всерединi. Наїв и мистецтво аутсайдерiв в Українi та свiтi: Дефiнiцiї, iсторичний контекст, дослiдницькi кейси. [Cosmos Inside. Naive and outsider art in Ukraine and the world: definitions, historical context, research cases]. Kyiv: Artbook, 247-258. 

Kurganova, Sviatlana, and Lesia Pcholka. 2019. “Мне сложно говорить о настоящем не понимая прошлого” [It Is difficult for me to speak about present without understanding the past]. 34 Mag. Cited by  https://34mag.net/ru/post/lesya-pchyolka (consulted 29 August 2021).

Kyky. 2011. “Крестик не для крестика” [Cross stitch is not for an X]. Kyky. Cited by https://kyky.org/art/craftivism (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Kyky. 2020. “#Евалюция: беларусы запустили флешмоб о том, как люди в погонах лишают нас искусства” [#evaluation: Belarusians have started a flashmob demonstrating how people in uniforms deprive us from the art]. Kyky. Cited by https://kyky.org/news/evalyutsiya-belarusy-zapustili-fleshmob-o-tom-kak-lyudi-v-pogonah-lishayut-nas-iskusstva (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Labacheuskaia, Volha. 2002. Повязь часоў - беларускi ручнiк. [Bond of Time–Belarusian Towel] Minsk: Belarus. 

LaVey, A.M. 2021. "Reading Belarus: The Evolving Semiosis of Belarusian Textiles," Journal of Belarusian Studies 11(2): 175-205.

Lubneuskaia, Natallia, and Daria Semchuk. 2021.  “Эпатажная мастачка Цемра — пра творчасць, лёс вышыванкі з графіці і бойкі з бяздомнымі на сметніцах” [Scandalous artist Cemra on her art, the fate of her vyshyvanka with graffiti, and fighting the homeless by the trash disposal]. Nasha Niva. Cited by https://nina.nashaniva.com/?c=lr&i=274792 (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Lubneuskaia, Natallia, and Daria Semchuk 2008.  “Ритуал у повсякденні війни (про архаїчну ритуальну практику в роки Другої світової війни за матеріалами польових досліджень у Білорусі)” [Ritual during the everyday way [About archaic practice during the years of the Second World War based on the fieldwork made in Belarus]. Схід / Захід [East / West] 11–12: 150–160. 

Makeout. 2017. “Интенсив по арт активизму: Техники. Методики. Практики” [Intensive course on art activism: Techniques. Methods. Practices]. 2017. MAKEOUT. Cited by https://makeout.by/2017/12/18/intensiv-po-art-aktivizmu-tehniki-metodiki-praktiki.html (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Makeout. 2018. “Воркшоп по вышивке “Free the Nipple”. Регистрация уже открыта!” [Embroidery workshop “Free the Nipple.” The registration is open]. MAKEOUT. Cited by https://makeout.by/2018/12/01/sofya-tokar-provedet-v-minske-vorkshop-free-the-nipple-registraciya-uzhe-otkryta.html (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Maroz, Masha. 2020. Доўгая дарога дамоў [Long Road Home]. Project Description. 

Maroz, Masha, Sasha Kulak and Dasha Golova. 2021. “Voices of Belarus. Chapter 2. Restoring Connections,”  Atelier WG. Cited by https://puntwg.nl/en/voices-of-belarus.-chapter-two-restoring-connections (consulted 29 August 2021).

Masliankova, Palina. ““Што люблю, тое й раблю” – гутарка з аўтаркай маркі KANVA Настай Васючэнка” [“Whatever I love, I do” –– a conversation with the designer of KANVA brand Nasta Vasiuchenka], Alovak Mag. Cited by https://alovakmag.by/tvorcyja-ludzi/shto-lyublyu-toe-j-rablyu-gutarka-z-autarkaj-marki-kanva-nastaj-vasyuchenka.html (consulted 15 March 2022).

Polevikova, Olga, and Masha Maroz. 2021. “Long Way Home: Collecting the Artefacts of a Forgotten Belarusian Past,” The Calvert Journal. Cited by https://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/12999/long-way-home-artifacts-belarus-heritage-protests-masha-maroz (consulted 29 August 2021).

Razor, Sasha, and Rufina Bazlova. 2021. “The History of Belarusian Vyzhyvanka,” Chrysalis Mag. Cited by https://chrysalismag.by/project/rufina-bazlova-the-history-of-belarusian-vyzhyvanka (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Reform.by. 2021. “По улицам Вильнюса пронесли огромный бело-красно-белый флаг” [Giant white-red-white flag was carried on the streets of Vilnius]. Reform.by. Cited by https://reform.by/211429-po-ulicam-vilnjusa-pronesli-ogromnyj-belo-krasno-belyj-flag (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Sherwin, Skye. 2021. “From the Bauhaus to the Venice Biennale: How textiles became art,” Art Basel. Cited by https://artbasel.com/news/textile-art (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Soroka, Iana, Vika Grebennikova, Varia Sudnik, and Astrantius Mon. 2021. “Три интервью об искусстве, идентичности и жизни в Беларуси здесь и сейчас” [Three interviews about art, identity, and life in Belarus here and now].  MAKEOUT. Cited by https://makeout.by/2021/06/21/tri-intervju-ob-iskusstve-identichnosti-i-zhizni-v-belarusi-zdes-i-sejchas.html (consulted 29 August 2021).

Svajksta. 2020. “Вакол Менску абвезлі зроблены за 12 гадзін абыдзённік” [The abydzionnik towel that was made in 12 hours was driven around Minsk]. Svajksta. Cited by https://svajksta.by/archives/32821?fbclid=IwAR3nJRdMDSMZHCwqfpO2Mr3KvrrZCS0QA0NGcgiWTy6effh73kgVULJ8t7M (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Sullivan, Becky. 2022. “Why Belarus is so involved in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?” Cited by https://www.npr.org/2022/03/11/1085548867/belarus-ukraine-russia-invasion-lukashenko-putin (consulted 15 March 2022).

Tokar, Sofia. 2021. Крафтивизм [Craftivism]. Artivism&Solidarity. Cited by https://artivism-solidarity.org/craftivism (consulted 29 August 2021). 

VEHA. 2020. “Калекцыя “Найлепшы бок”: традыцыя партрэтнага фатаграфавання на фоне даматканых дываноу” [The Best Side Collection: tradition of portrait photography at the background of hand-woven rugs]. VEHA. Cited by http://veha.by/nb (consulted 29 August 2021). 

Ў Gallery. 2020. Facebook post, August 25, 2020. Facebook. Cited by https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fygallery.by%2Fposts%2F3418163898246633&display=popup&ref=plugin&src=post (consulted 29 August 2021). 


Bazlova, Rufina. Prague, Czech Republic. Interviewed over Zoom. 25 January 2021. 

Bundeleva, Anna. Vilnius, Lithuania. Responded to questionnaire. 28 July 2021.

Douhushau, Siarhei. Warsaw, Poland. Interviewed over Zoom. 6 March 2021. 

Gulin, Mikhail. Minsk, Belarus. Interviewed over Facebook messenger. 2 August 2021. 

Naprushkina, Marina. Berlin, Germany. Interviewed over Zoom. 4 June 2021. 

Palianina, Vasilisa. Minsk, Belarus. Responded to questionnaire. 21 July 2021. 

Pcholka, Lesia. Tbilisi, Georgia. Responded to questionnaire. 6 August 2021. 

Sazanovich, Daria. Bremen, Germany. Interviewed over Zoom. 23 July 2021.

Sudnik, Varvara. Minsk, Belarus. Responded to questionnaire. 6 August 2021. 

Vasiuchenka, Nasta. Minsk, Belarus. Responded to questionnaire. 20 July 2021.

Sudnik, Varvara. Minsk, Belarus. Responded to questionnaire. 6 August 2021. 

Vasiuchenka, Nasta. Minsk, Belarus. Responded to questionnaire. 20 July 2021.

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Artists Biographies