ZAMEK Culture Centre

ETHNO PORT POZNAŃ \ Belarus at Ethno Port Poznań (Nasta Niakrasava / Vorsoba & Porakh / Koło Jana)

It is with great concern that we have been following recent events behind our eastern border. We admire the courage, determination and wisdom of Belarusians. At the same time, we are appalled by the violence and brutality with which the state responded to the peaceful protests of its citizens, who only desire to live in a country without dictatorship. Even though 40 years have passed since the memorable August ’80, we understand the plight of our neighbours very well, and show our solidarity with the people fighting for democracy through demonstrations in Polish streets.
In collaboration with the City of Poznań, we would like to express our support for the aspirations of the Belarussian people in a language we know best. Thus, one entire day of this year’s edition of Ethno Port (taking place this September due to the COVID-19 pandemic) will be dedicated to music from the country on the other side of the river Bug.
During the concert, Belarusian (Nasta Niakrasava and the accordion duo Vorsoba / Porakh) and Polish artists (Koło Jana), will also perform the compositions and songs which accompany the protests, including the Belarusian version of the iconic “Mury (Walls)”.
We will also be raising funds for BY_help

Nasta Niakrasava is a Belarusian vocalist and folk culture researcher. Born in the region of Polesye, she graduated in choral conducting and history of art in Minsk. Eleven years ago, Nasta moved to Poland, where she obtained a degree in musicology from the University of Warsaw.
Drawing on Belarussian folk music, Nasta is one of the first young Belarussian artists who performed traditional a capella songs on the professional stage.  Winner of international festivals and competitions, known from such musical projects as Kviecień, who reconstruct Belarussian folk songs and dances, FolkRoll, the avant-garde interpreters of folk poetry, or R.U.T.A., who tap into tradition to create committed art. In recent years, Nasta joined Jacek Kleyff to sing his original compositions.

Vorsoba / Porakh deliver an improvised dialogue of two accordions immersed in electronic sounds. The project brings together two Belarussian musicians, Alaksandr Porakh and Aleksey Vorsoba. Alaksandr is a producer, sound director, composer and accordionist. Born in Minsk, he graduated from the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Alaksandr now lives in Poland, working at Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera.
Aleksey Vorsoba composes and arranges music, plays on keyboard instruments and accordion; he is also a teacher and member of the Belarusian Union of Musical Activists. Two-time recipient of the Gaude Polonia fellowship from the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland. Vorsoba is the originator of the Minsk Improvisers Orchestra and the founder of a school of improvised music. As the artist themselves say: “​​This concert and the exceptional event are an expression of solidarity with the peaceful protests in Belarus against the presidential election fraud and the extreme violence used by the authorities.”

Our Ethno Port Sunday will begin with the Polish ensemble Koło Jana from Poznań, who play music inspired by Slavic folklore.  They are clear about the nature of their concert: “We sing ‘roots’ songs, which draw on the traditions of the ancestors and early rituals. Even though our music tells stories which come from various parts of Europe, they do show how much we all have in common. There is little difference in how we love, suffer, and long—for love and for freedom, therefore it is through music that we wish to manifest our support for Belarusians, who strive for a better tomorrow. Жыве Беларусь!”

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