Franak Viacorka

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Franak Viačorka
Франак Вячорка
Франак Вячорка фота.jpg
Vaclav Havel Fellow at RFE/RL, Praha
Born (1988-03-26) March 26, 1988 (age 29)
Minsk, Byelorussian SSR
Nationality Belarus

Francišak Valancinavič (Franak) Viačorka (Viachorka) (Belarusian Франці́шак Валянці́навіч Вячо́рка) (born March 26, 1988) is a Belarusian youth leader, independent journalist, screenwriter. New Media Manager at RFE/RL Belarus Service. International Affairs Scholar at American University, Specialist in New Media.

Educational and work experience[edit]

Franak studied at the Belarusian Lyceum for Humanities (since 2003 existing in underground), Journalism Department of Belarusian State University (from which he was expelled for political activities),[1] the European Humanitarian University (exiled in Vilnius). 2010-2012--Warsaw University, PR and Media Marketing. In 2016 Franak received Civil Society Leadership Award by Open Society Foundations for pursuing Master Degree at American University.

Since 2008, Franak has worked with an independent satellite TV for Belarus Belsat TV as a PR manager,[2] and is now presenting on the station with RFE/RL's Belarus Service on its popular news and analysis show. He has worked as a journalist and editor for several independent publications in Belarus:[3] Belarusian informational agency "BelaPAN", Monthly political newspaper «Naviny BNF» ("BPF News"), Belarusian Service of RFE/RL, Youth informational web-portal Franak has a video blog on a Polish Radio web-portal[4]

Current status[edit]

Franak Viachorka is a New Media Editor at RFE/RL's Belarus service[5]

Public activities[edit]

The son of prominent opposition politician Vincuk Viachorka.[6] Since his youth, Franak has been involved in the opposition movement to current Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko. Franak was member of Young Front, a founder and formerly chairman of the BPF Youth (2008-2009), the youth wing of the Belarusian Popular Front, succeeded on October 10, 2009 by Andrei Krečka. Organizer of many demonstrations, political campaigns and flash-mobs.[7][8]

Franak Viachorka during Local Elections 2010

Member of the Board (2007-2009), National Council (2007-2009) of BPF Party. Chairman of a Commission on Culture (2007-2009)[9] of BPF Party. Member of Belarusian Language Society.

Took part in Electoral campaigns in headquarters (2000, 2001, 2004, 2008). In 2010 - as a candidate in local elections to Mazyr City Council, but elections were falsified. Administrator of a Unified oppositional candidate Alexander Milinkevich website (2005-2006), United Democratic Forces of Belarus (2007-2009).

Since January 2011 was elected an International Secretary for a Popular-Democratic Party "Belarusian Movement".

The editor in chief of the European travel book "Wanderer's Guide for Belarusians"[10]

Co-coordinator of the Civil journalism project "Narodny Żurnalist".[11]

One of the founders and managers of Art-Siadziba - public open space for independent events in Minsk

Director and producer of musical project "Partyzanaskaja Shkola" (Partisan School), musical compact discs "Ja lublu licej" (I Love Lyceum), "Vieru u Ciabie" (Trust you), "Partyzanaskaja Shkola" (Partisan School), "Piesni Lisouchykau" (Songs of Lisouchyks), "Janka Kupala - 125", "be-x-old:Незалежныя". Producer of "Audiobooks in Belarusian" project.

Producer and Manager of "Cinema Dubbing into Belarusian" project. There dubbed Pulp Fiction, Shrek 2, En Liten Julsaga, Love Actually, V for Vendetta.[12]

Franak speaks English, French, Polish, Russian and Belarusian.[13]


On February 18, 2008, Franak was expelled from his third year of journalism at the Belarusian State University, in spite of his excellent academic performance, for missing two exams.[1][14] The fact that he was being detained by the police was not accepted as a legitimate excuse by the university authorities. A subsequent attempt to enroll in the exiled European Humanities University, a private Belarusian university operating in neighbouring Lithuania due to Lukashenko's restrictions, failed as Mr. Viačorka's name is currently on a list of persons banned from travelling outside Belarus.[15]

Franak Viachorka was drafted into the army inspire of state of health"

It has been reported that on 16 January 2009, Franak was forcibly conscripted into the Armed Forces of Belarus by the authorities,[16] despite having been found medically unfit. Several other youth activists, such as Ivan Shyla, were also drafted.[17] As of February 2009, he was stationed in the air defence unit 48694 in Mozyr, Homiel Voblast. In the course of his training, it is alleged that he has been subjected to harassment by senior military figures in order to make him speak Russian rather than Belarusian, although both are legal for use in the military.[18] As a soldier, Franak fought for soldiers’ rights and the rights of local residents. On April 14, 2010 Viachorka was released from army because of health problems. During his military service Franak participated as a candidate in local elections to Mazyr City Council.[19]

During Military service Franak Viachorka was writing "Blog of Belarusian Soldier", which became very popular in Internet.[20]

Franak has been arrested and imprisoned several times for his activities. (Last time - in January, 2011).[21][22]

After being dismissed from the military, Franak was refused admission to Belarusian State University[23] to which he applied eight times.[24] He was also refused admission to all other public universities in Belarus, violating the law which provides guaranteed admission to dismissed soldiers. Franak is currently pursuing a degree in media and public relations at the University of Warsaw


In 2006 starred in the award-winning documentary titled "A Lesson of Belarusian"[25] that chronicled Franak’s life as a pro-democracy youth activist in the run-up to the 2006 presidential elections in Belarus.[26] Franak's work with his fellow activists was followed for two weeks. His father Vincuk Viačorka was also featured, as was Uladzimir Kolas, principal of the Belarusian Humanities Lyceum and a prominent academic.

Franak is the co-screen writer and second director of a fiction movie being produced by the Documentary and Feature Film Production Company of Poland about his time in the Belarusian Army and the situation for other young conscripts.[27] Directed by Krzysztof Łukaszewicz. The film, "Viva Belarus!" was released in Spring 2013.[28]

Franak also played in Tutejszyja movie.[29][30] This movie was forbidden in Belarus.[31]

Awards and Prizes[edit]

  • Civil Society Leadership Award, 2016: by Open Society Foundations (OSF)
  • «Person of the Year», 2014: Nasha Niva: «For the efforts to promote Belarus national identity»
  • «30 under 30», 2013: National Endowment for Democracy. Featured among «promising young leaders, all age 30 or younger, who are working for a democratic future in 24 countries».
  • The Best Screenplay, 2013: €2000, Brussels Film Festival, for the movie «Viva Belarus!»
  • Vaclav Havel Fellowship, 2012: by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Prague, Czechia. Personally referenced by Vaclav Havel.
  • Literary Prize «Golden apostrophe», «Debut in Prose», 2010. Minsk, Belarus.
  • The National Human Rights Award “For Personal Courage”, 2009. Minsk, Belarus
  • «New Generation» Prize, 2008— «For Courage and Bravery in the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Belarus”, Chisinau, Moldova,
  • IDFA Bertha Fund Award, 2007, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • «Best actor» at Lviv Film Festival (Ukraine) (2007)


  1. ^ a b Once Expelled – Expelled Forever Archived 2013-03-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ У Менску паказалі фільм «НКВД – Гестапо. Браты па крыві» Белсат
  3. ^ Ліцэісты ў вольны час Archived 2004-07-25 at the Wayback Machine. Новы Час
  4. ^ Blog Franaka Wiaczorki Polskie Radio
  5. ^ RFE/RL, Czech Republic Announce Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship RFE/RL Newsroom
  6. ^ Франак Вячорка: Назаўтра пасьля 90-х угодкаў БНР ён будзе сьвяткаваць сваё 20-годзьдзе Радыё Свабода
  7. ^ Stand in a line to a police van, clap and laugh! Belsat TV
  8. ^ Заява старшыні Вучнёўскага самакіраваньня Нацыянальнага дзяржаўнага гуманітарнага ліцэю імя Якуба Коласа Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. Bymedia
  9. ^ Франак Вячорка: Дубляж «Шрэка» важнейшы за 35 затрыманьняў Наша Ніва
  10. ^ Каб «кожная даярка» магла злятаць у Еўропу
  11. ^ Народны Журналіст Archived 2011-09-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Замежныя фільмы па-беларуску? Магчыма!
  13. ^ Франак Вячорка: Назаўтра пасьля 90-х угодкаў БНР ён будзе сьвяткаваць сваё 20-годзьдзе
  14. ^ From Political Front Line to Army Drudgery Belarusnews
  15. ^ Franak Viachorka banned from leaving Belarus Archived 2012-07-11 at Euroradio
  16. ^ Franak Viachorka Conveyed Forcibly to Military Office Belarusian Association of Journalists
  17. ^ Appeal of the Belarusian Youth Movement of America to support young Belarusian activists BELMOV
  18. ^ Pressurization of Franak Viachorka in the army Spring 96
  19. ^ Франак і ў войску ідзе ў дэпутаты Наша Ніва
  20. ^ Армейскі дзёньнік Франака Вячоркі Archived 2011-11-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Activist Franak Viachorka detained Spring 96
  22. ^ ‘Cold, Hunger, Rats’ – Franak Viachorka about Conditions in Akrestsina Jail Spring96
  23. ^ Франаку Вячорке вновь отказано в восстановлении на учебе
  24. ^ Франак Вячорка готов бороться в суде за право вновь стать студентом Archived 2012-07-22 at Euroradio
  25. ^ Lekcja Białoruskiego Filmpolski
  26. ^ "Урок беларускай мовы" стаў "Лепшым еўрапейскім дакументальным кіно Салідарнасць
  27. ^ Блокбастар "Жыве Беларусь" Наша Ніва
  28. ^ В Польше снимают фильм о Беларуси Eastbook
  29. ^ "Белсат" здымае "Тутэйшых" наша Ніва
  30. ^ Фильм о "Тутэйшых" Янки Купалы сняли за 8 дней Экспресс-Ньюз
  31. ^ Белорусский Минкульт запретил телеспектакль «Тутэйшыя Charter'97

External links[edit]