WOMEN’S WRITING AS IMMATERIAL LABOUR IN THE CONTEXT OF CONTEMPORARY BELARUSIAN LITERATURE
The goal of this article is to analyse women’s writing as immaterial labour, focusing on the case of contemporary Belarusian literature as the contribution to the de-Westernizing of creative labour studies. First, the paper focuses on language choice specific for contemporary Belarusian literature and educational opportunities as the prerequisites to begin a writing career set in the 1990–2000s. Second, the paper outlines the environment providing publishing and showcase opportunities, emphasising the mid-2010s as the period of increased diversity. And third, the paper assesses the conditions that influence creative expression sustaining the labour of creating writing in 2020–2023. Within this argumentation, the paper investigates the state of specifically women’s writing in Belarus, considering the problematics of equal opportunities. Thus, in the 1990– 2000s women’s writing wasn’t on the agenda aimed at the preservation of the field and relating it to the Belarusian language. In the 2010s educative and showcase opportunities supporting the efforts of young writers provided an equally beneficial environment for men and women writing in Belarusian or Russian. The representation of women writers increased, including more women writers awarded with book prizes by both state and independent organizations although still not equal with men writers. During 2020–2023 it is mostly recognized women writers over 40 years old, especially currently in emigration, who produce literary works that are successfully published in Belarusian or Russian. Younger women writers have less opportunities for publication and showcase, switching to autofiction of shorter formats barely sustaining their efforts as labour. Interestingly, in both cases the most common themes are ancestry and corporality, making women representation in contemporary Belarusian literature less diverse. This affects the demand in literary works by women writers among diverse groups of women as the reading audience, making the labour of women writers in Belarus more precarious.
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