My name is Dmitry Anisimov and I would like to start my story with words of gratitude to those people who helped me to be free and safe now. BYSOL — thank you very much! You are doing just a great job for people!
Frankly speaking, my story isn't much different from the majority of people who had to deal with repression in Belarus. Behind active actions, which I tried in every way to show solidarity with the protest movement, I, as a creative person, was more inclined to implement my emotions and experiences by creating different kinds of graphic content. I made videos and posted them on social networks; I created various opposition prints and printed them on T-shirts; I created stickers for telegrams and for color printing; I created posters and postcards dedicated to the protest movement. In other words, I tried to bring to the masses something that resonated very strongly in my heart. And, you know, it worked.
There was a huge community gathered around me. I began to see a result in my work that united the people around me and helped me not to lose faith in what I was doing. You can see one of my works on the cover of this collection. And that would have been OK, but the repression was much stronger and harsher than we could have imagined. At one point, it became too dangerous for people to openly wear T-shirts with my prints on them. I understood that, just as I understood that it was necessary to change the format and be more careful from now on. The decision was made to keep the sticker production only. This continued until December 2021.
On the morning of December 6, 6 SOBR officers, led by 2 representatives of GUBOPIK, broke into my house. The visit was extremely friendly: they broke down my door, beat me up, insulted me, provoked me and confiscated everything they could take away (cell phones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc.). Then everything went like a copy: an interrogation with bias in GUBOPIK; sending my media library from my phone to my carriers; the investigation committee and playing good/bad cop; a penitential video for reporting to their Telegram channel; 10 days in the worst place in Okrestina and an incredible 3 months in jail at Volodarsky. Of course it was not very pleasant, but thanks to support of my relatives and other victims I found strength not to lose heart, but on the contrary, to move in the same direction as in 2020.
On March 10, 2022, the trial took place. That was quite a circus, I tell you. It did not matter what I said or how I said it, the judge knew in advance what sentence I was going to pass: Two years and six months of restricted freedom in an open institution. Of course I totally disagreed with the verdict and therefore I appealed. I had my hopes up, but just like the first and second time, everything was known in advance: the verdict was left unchanged. In this regard I was forced to evacuate soon from my native home, my beloved Belarus.
Now I am safe and thankful for that. But everything that I valued and owned was taken away from me. And now a new stage is about to begin: establishing myself in a new country, learning new habits and characteristics, a new language, work and new manners. All this I have yet to go through. It would be much easier to enter the new stage with the profession, which is already familiar to me, namely the profession of graphic designer.
What I can do very well — to create beauty and delight the human eye. For this I lack only one thing — a laptop. Mine was arrested along with the rest of the equipment, and I, alas, could not get it back. This seemingly small gesture for you will actually become huge for me. I have never needed anything like this and would hardly ever turn to anyone for help, but now things have turned out a little differently for me. Thank you for reading to the end, that alone is a victory for me, and if this story resonates in your hearts, it means that I did the right thing!
How much is needed?
1100 € — to buy a Xiaomi Mi Pro laptop for work and to continue my activist activities.