Maryia Bialkovich

JOURNALIST 1   Hello, I’m this and that journalist. I’ll tell you on behalf of everyone here: we are very happy that you are with us today, that you were able to get out and that you are safe now (approving applause and smiles in the audience). My first question: could you please tell us about your first minutes on the outside? Thank you. 

WOMAN (confused) To be honest, I haven’t somehow… 

MODERATOR Yes, thank you very much for your question. Today we will not probably move too fast (smiles at the Woman, strokes her sandwich-free hand), but our goal is to give as much information as possible and bring it to the world. It can be very difficult for the psyche to re-focus at once and begin to adequately perceive reality. One can forget negative experiences and everything related to trauma. Sometimes, the first happy moments in safety can be forgotten for that very reason. They might seem, as we say, a bit “foggy” (soft laughter in the audience). Next question, please! (points with his hand)

JOURNALIST 2    Hello, I’m this and that journalist. I understand how fragile your state is, but could you please give us any details, literally anything you remember, of your detention? What conditions were you in? Who were you with? Can you give us the names of those people? Thank you. 

WOMAN (clears her throat) To be honest, I don’t understand what’s going on. 

MODERATOR (corrects the Woman) What was going on. It’s all in the past, you’re safe now. (amicable smiles in the audience

WOMAN Well, I remember a room. It was quite small, and it was stuffy in there. There were three women…

JOURNALIST 2   Names? Do you remember their names? Thank you.

WOMAN No, they didn’t introduce themselves. 

MODERATOR How rude. (approving chuckles in the audience) Please continue. 

WOMAN Yeah, so there were three women. 

JOURNALIST 2   What did they do to you? Thank you.

WOMAN No, no one did— I mean— One of the women kept offering me tea. 

JOURNALIST 2   Could you please tell us about that particular case when…

MODERATOR Dear all, let’s not interrupt our guest. (To the Woman, stroking her arm) Please continue, darling. Everything is fine, you’re safe now.