Rich images of peasants against the background of urban-style architecture
New art-space in museum courtyard presents photo painter Marina Batyukova’s Sula. Uninterrupted exhibition
Marina Batyukova is author of the photo exhibition
The art project continues a tradition established two years ago under the title ‘Old New Yard’, celebrating architecture, photography and media art. The panorama of early 20th century urban buildings is the perfect setting. The event coincides with the ancient custom of ‘Steering and Burial of the Arrow’ and, this year, was accompanied by music from Toloka band, as well as the screening of a documentary on the custom.
Marina Batyukova’s photos are on show, exploring life in the Gomel Region’s villages of Neglyubka and Stolbyn during the holiday. Ms. Batyukova is a specialist in documenting everyday life through conceptual photography, looking at the psyche, human relations with the environment and human behaviour in society. The custom of ‘Steering and Burial of the Arrow (Sula)’ is connected with the land’s fertility, aiming to propitiate the force of nature via a lightning-arrow.
Ethnography, traditions and history attract contemporary youth
The tradition of the holiday has remained unchanged for centuries. Female residents wear national costume, sing and meet in performing a single round dance, while singing songs to encourage the growth of spring rye, weaving their bodies as they dance, symbolising a road of joy, happiness and well-being.
They then bury the ‘Sula’ into the ground, hiding the dark force of destruction and encouraging kindness, wealth and success. They collect ears of corn as talismans, and roll on the ground in the rye, to absorb its power and health.
‘Steering and Burial of the Arrow (Sula)’ is registered on the National List of Intangible Manifestations of Human Creativity and is an intangible historical and cultural treasure of Belarus.
By Alexey Fedotov