Belarus; Minsk 2.0

After the Belarusian capital Minsk was completely destroyed by bombs during WWII, the city was rebuilt. The plan was to make the new city a spacious model city, an utopian place, a city of dreams, the ideal image of Soviet architecture. In the new Minsk, the tidy flats are surrounded by green parks. The wide streets are ideal for walking and cycling. Very slowly capitalism is allowed into the country. KFC has opened its doors under a large war memorial. Despite the average salary of €400, the remarkably young population seems prosperous and satisfied.

Groups of young soldiers, in old-fashioned uniforms, are not to be missed in the streets. Thanks to president Aleksandr Lukashenko Belarus has the dubious honor of being called “the last dictatorship of Europe”. Since 1994 ‘Loeka’ has been conducting a reign of terror which makes it impossible for opponents to engage in opposition. Critical sounds are muted.

Minsk; the illusion of the perfect life.