In most democracies around the world, a photographer gets LIKES and SHARES when he snapped at some cuddly teddy bears on parachute and as cuddly as the bears, uploads it on Facebook. That is how it is in most democracies and even as how hectic our lives will be, amidst all the work and commitments to be pursued, we find time to leave a comment and mostly, share it to friends. These ideals are darkest in Belarus as with the case of this young man, Anton Suryapin, 20.
Anton Suryapin studied at the Belarusian State University pursuing journalism and photojournalism. His innocence was primarily, as I see it, based on his fondness of teddy bears as mostly of us do as well as his bewilderment seeing teddy bears flying on parachute from the sky. He snapped a photo of it, happy! He posted it on Facebook, still very happy. Now, Belarus dictator, Alexander Lukashenko had him jailed for trump up charges that he was colluding with Swedish-based Studio Total regarding the teddy bears.
Let us see what made Lukashenko fuming with anger over the teddy bears. Studio Total just simply want to emphasize free speech in Belarus and an end to the tyrannical era of a dictator so misplaced in the milieu of the world, he is the only country outside the Cold War era who still calls his generals and the military KGB. The KGB invited the Studio Total to come to Belarus and I just love their reply letter.
Anton Suryapin has more years to appreciate the world, travel perhaps will make his photography stint more of a stand-out and he can only do this when he is free from intimidation and from the very tyrannical clutches of Lukashenko. As a travel blogger and photographer, I joined the photographers in Belarus, in demanding that Anton Suryapin be release from prison and also, in joining Studio Total, calls for the imposition of Freedom of Speech in Belarus and not tomorrow, next month or years, but NOW!