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22 June 2024, 04:56

Grief, feat, joy in BelTA’s photo exhibition about women in war in Minsk

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) – Belarusian news agency BelTA and the Belarusian Women’s Union presented the joint photo exhibition “Woman. War. Victory” in the First National Trading House in Minsk on 21 June, BelTA has learned.

The exhibition is timed to the Day of National Remembrance of Victims of the Great Patriotic War and the Genocide of the Belarusian People as well as to the 80th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invaders. The exposition features 44 archive photos that highlight the hardships Belarusian women had to deal with during the war and after the war. 


"Women really performed a feat," Olga Shpilevskaya, chairwoman of the Belarusian Women’s Union, told reporters. “The feat was performed by mothers who sent their sons to war; the feat was performed by wives who were waiting for their husbands. They performed the feat later, when they worked hard to restore our cities and villages from the ruins." 
Olga Shpilevskaya is sure that it is extremely important to show such photos, reminding current generations of the history of 80 years ago. "We must pay tribute to the memory of these women, even in photographs, and say words of gratitude for their women’s feat," she said. 

BelTA Director General, member of the board of the Belarusian Women’s Union Irina Akulovich noted that most of the photos included in the exhibition are from the archive of the news agency. "BelTA is already 105 years old, and all these years we have been recording the history of our country," she said.

Irina Akulovich noted that the photographs depict women whose names are known to millions. For example, there is a photo of Maria Oktyabrskaya, who sold all her property at the beginning of the war and bought a tank to avenge her deceased husband. She was killed in the war too. "These women were heroes. Those who fought at the front, and those who worked in the rear. Those who tried to keep their homes, raise children and do everything for the sake of the front and Victory," the BelTA director general added.
The war is not won by men or women, Irina Akulovich emphasized. "Only a nation and a country can win a war. At any moment in our history, we must all be together. As the president says, it is important to understand that no one but us is able to protect this piece of land. Let's love, defend our country together and understand that women are a force," she said. 

Lidia Yermoshina, a member of the Council of Elders of the Belarusian Women's Union, added that the war was an event that split the lives of our heroines into before and after. "Many of those whose photographs we see did not even live to see the end of the war. They went into immortality. The immortality of these people is our memory. It is wonderful that our journalists, our leading news organization show us these photos. They will be seen by wide audiences. Let's keep this memory going," she urged. 

The photo exhibition “Woman. War. Victory” will stay open in the First National Trading House through 3 July. After Minsk, as Olga Shpilevskaya noted, the exposition will travel to all regions of Belarus
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