By Valeria Dauhalevich
Migration of artists is always a great topic to uncover. Recently I had an opportunity to talk to a Belarusian painter, Nadezhda Hadun, who moved to Hungary 5 years ago. She told me about her experience, and why she had to move.
As it usually happens in complicated political and economical environment, the world of art in Belarus has been in a horrifying condition since the fall of USSR. Totally controlled by the eternal president, the contemporary art is either neutral or under-the-table. The art tradition is outdated, innovation is not welcome. Just like decades ago, the freedom of expression is a dream. And the weak economic situation in the country puts the final dot onto the situation: no money whatsoever in the state organizations and on the art market, which puts even politically neutral artists into a complicated position.
Thus Nadezhda Hadun and her husband Jan Yeresko, being senior students in the Belarusian State Art Academy, didn’t hesitate to pack their suitcases when they received the Visegrad scholarship to study in Magyar Képzőművészeti Egyetem in Budapest. Leaving the university with a great scandal, since migration is unofficially unwelcome, the couple understood that they are ‘burning bridges’. “We was going abroad knowing, that there is no way they will accept us back in the Academy, in case it doesn’t work out in Budapest. Neither we will be able to make our careers in Belarus”. Nevertheless the excitement to experience Europe overcame all the fears.
Nadezhda’s life in Budapest was full of struggles as an artist, student and an immigrant. “Nevertheless I would never regret moving: it gave me knowledge, experience and a possibility to dream bigger”, - she shared with me.
Nowadays Nadezhda and her husband enjoy being represented by one of the galleries in Budapest, as well as frequent exhibitions in Hungary and abroad – achievements that are hardly possible to be performed in Belarus currently. “I see so many opportunities here in comparison to Minsk, and moreover now I know that my aspirations can be approached, that there are means to move forward: of course there is an effort to be applied, but at least there are no obstacles on the way”.