Naviband and VAL

Tensions and drama have been overflowing in Belarus recently. There are ongoing political demonstrations throughout the country and a significant proportion of the population is unhappy with the current leadership. Meanwhile, Belarus’ participation in Eurovision 2021 is uncertain too. Now, the country’s 2017 and 2020 Eurovision acts — NAVIBAND and VAL —  have collaborated on a Freedom Day anthem to commemorate the anniversary of Belarus’ independence from the Russian SFSR.

NAVIBAND feat. VAL – “ВОЛЬНЫЯ СНЫ” (Voĺnyja sny)

With music and lyrics by NAVI’s Ksienija Zhuk, “Voĺnyja sny” (Free Dreams) is a powerful pop-rock piece. It is entirely in the Belarusian language, and features beautiful vocal harmonies and kicking instrumentals. A stunning nature-themed music video accompanies the track, featuring both frontwomen.

The song’s lyrics travel a thin line between empowerment and protest. In the build-up to the refrain, the singers belt out: “Wake up the universe, forgive us today”. Running along the semantic field of mother nature, the lyrics seem to allude to getting (back) the people’s freedom while using the metaphor of the Earth coming back from hibernation.

​The song was released to coincide with Belarus’ Freedom Day on 25 March. It’s a celebration of the Belarusian identity in the spirit of Freedom Day. It also fits in with a number of previous pro-Belarusian opposition releases from both duos.

On 25 March in 1918, the Belarusian Democratic Republic announced its independence from the Russian SFSR. The Belarusian people have been observing 25 March as unofficial celebration day ever since. The date is particularly important in these times when the Belarusian nation needs some joy to hold on to. With their freedom in jeopardy, they could use a celebration of their liberty.

The situation in Belarus

Since August 2020, there has been an ongoing crackdown of peaceful demonstrators who continue to speak out against police brutality and President Alexander Lukashenko. You’ll remember that he was re-elected in elections that have been widely condemned by the international community, including by the European Union.

Since October 2020, the EU has progressively imposed restrictions on Belarus and levelled sanctions against people it says are “responsible for repression and intimidation” against protestors. The Council of the European Union says: “The measures were adopted in response to the Belarusian authorities’ unacceptable violence against peaceful protesters, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions, following the August 2020 presidential elections.” “The EU does not recognise results of the Belarus elections, condemning them as neither free, nor fair.”

What do you think of NAVIBAND and VAL’s new song? Do you believe Belarus could one day fly a white-red-white flag at Eurovision? Sound off in the comments below!

Follow all of our Belarus Eurovision news.

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Vytautas
Vytautas
21 days ago

Aren’t we hypocrites bit? As much as I would want Lukashenko regime to fall (obviously, as I am from Lithuania and thus, Belarus is our long lost slavicized brothers). However, saying this song would be a perfect fit when it clearly stands for a political message just as ‘I will teach you’ but from an opposition, is a hypocrisy to say least. If nobody’s allowed to be political, it means nobody. Belarus should be skipped this year, that’s all I can say.

Fabio
Fabio
21 days ago
Reply to  Vytautas

This song is not supposed to go to Eurovision, dear.

Vytautas
Vytautas
21 days ago
Reply to  Fabio

I get it, sweetie, but people are commenting as if THIS particular song would be an excellent fit to represent Belarus, which, as I stated above, is kinda hypocritical to say one is awful because it’s political and the other is awesome because… it’s also political.

Trina
Trina
21 days ago
Reply to  Vytautas

I understood what you were saying, and I think you were clear. Personally, I think this is something the EBU (in its current form) is a little bit out of their depth on and they are struggling to catch up. Based on their inconsistencies and the way they have dealt with political aspects in a reactive (rather than proactive) way, it does feel like they kind of hope that if they ignore it, it will all go away on its own. And it is a very difficult task- they really want to avoid politics, but calling something political (or not… Read more »

Jo.
Jo.
21 days ago
Reply to  Vytautas

so if the devil can’t have it, then neither can god

Last edited 21 days ago by Jo.
Jinbeizaki
Jinbeizaki
21 days ago

This would be such an amazing entry for Belarus, this song is so beautiful. I hope to see Naviband again on the Eurovision scene and for Val to have this opportunity after it was taken away from them, once the situation in Belarus is better <3

Dawid
Dawid
21 days ago

Would make cool Belarusan entry

Whisker
Whisker
21 days ago

Great initiative, song, video.

Jamie
Jamie
21 days ago

What a song. This is what should represent Belarus, not those puppets.

Linus
Linus
21 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

Its good

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
21 days ago

North Korea: “What is freedom?”

Lollipopmonster ESC
Lollipopmonster ESC
21 days ago

Beautiful song ….. well done!

Neil
Neil
21 days ago

I love VAL my favorite of ESC 2020
I really hope they get another chance
I also love Naviband way more now

Last edited 21 days ago by Neil
Max
Max
21 days ago

The result of collaboration of these amazing artists is breathtaking. Apparently it is possible to write the songs without mocking your own nation.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
21 days ago

So sad how serious artists have no chance in Belarus. But surely, the regime’s propaganda muppets have written another world hit to grace the Eurovision stage.