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Victor Martinovich, writer, art historian

Born 9-th of September 1977 in Oshmiany (Belarus).

1994-1999 – Belarussian State University, BA

1999-2002 – BSU’s doctorate, history of art criticism studies. Developed doctoral thesis on Vitebsk’s avant-garde (Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich) of 1920-s, its social and cultural context and art criticism. At the same time became the head of political department of independent weekly newspaper, Belgazeta. The media was rather critical to the government and president Luckashenko. This was the reason why Victor’s doctoral defence in Belarus has never happened.

In 2006 moved to Vilnius (Lithuania), started cooperation with European Humanities University. EHU, formerly the only private university in Belarus, was expelled from this country in 2004 and settled in EU.

2008 – defended PhD on the Vitebsk’s art school at Vilnius’ Academy of fine arts. The focus of the thesis – representation of Vitebsk’s avant-garde (Marc Chagall, Kazimir Malevich) in news-papers media discourses of 1920s. 

2008 (September) – received a position of assistant professor of European Humanities University.

2010-2011 – The Head of Political Sciences Department of European Humanities University. Has been on this administrative position for 3 semesters, then decided to leave to focus on writing.

2014 – Visiting fellow of Vienna’s Institute for human sciences. The aim of the fellowship was composing the monograph dedicated to Marc Chagall’s years in Vitebsk.

Current job position – associate professor in European Humanities University Vilnius. Courses taught:  Language and thinking, An introduction to Social Sciences, Seminar on Hermeneutics, Nations and Nationalism (in cooperation with Bard College).



The first novel called Paranoia was written in Russian and published in Russian publishing house AST in 2009. It came under the ban in Belarus immediately after publication. In this dystopian story we see the classical love triangle involving a young dissident intellectual, wealthy girl and a high ranking KGB officer. 

2012 Paranoia was published in Finland.

2013 North Western university Press (US, Chicago) published English translation of Paranoia, prepared by Diane Nemec Ignashev, Carleton’s professor of slavistics.

2014 German translation of Paranoia is published by Voland und Quist and received positive critics in Frankfurter allgemeine zeitung, Tagesspiegel and German Culture radio.

 Cold paradise

In 2011 Victor Martinovich published the second novel, Cold paradise. Text was written in Belarussian language and appeared in the Internet only.


The third novel, Sphagnum, was presented to public 2013. Agents and publishers have called this novel “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in the Belarusian province” and put into the “gangster comedy” niche, but it is also intellectual “anti-detective” story. 

 Mova 墨瓦

The forth Martinovich’s novel is Mova 墨瓦. It appeared in Autumn 2014 both on paper and in the Internet. First circulation of Mova 墨瓦  was sold out in a week. Originally written in Belarussian, it was translated to Russian by Lidia Mikheeva. It appeared in German publishing house Voland und Quist in November, 2016. 

 Lake of Joy

The 5th novel composed in Russian and published simultaneously in Russia (VREMIA Publishing House) and in Belarus (Knihasbor publishers), on two languages. Belarussian translation was made by Vitaly Ryzhkov. The novel is named after one of the minor Moon craters and tells the story of a girl from rich and affiliated with government family. After one month of sales the novel became the year bestseller in biggest book selling chain BelKniga. 

Homeland. Marc Chagall in Vitebsk

Non-fiction book by Victor Martinovich named Homeland. Marc Chagall in Vitebsk is based on his doctoral thesis, which was fundamentally improved during Victor’s fellowship in Vienna’s Institute for human sciences. Monograph reconstructs in detail miserable and inspiring years Marc Chagall has spent in his home town after returning from Paris in 1914. 



Victor Martinovich wrote 2 mini-plays for Ganymed theater in Vienna, which were on scene in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum and Historical Museum of Innsbruck.

One play,  The Dr. Raus’ Career,  was staged in Belarus, in the National Theater of Belarusian Drama and depicts fantastic version of contemporary world in which nobody knows what paper book is. The protagonist of this play is a young enthusiast who tries to present idea of book publishing to IT venture investors who are quite sceptical about the necessity of such unpractical thing.  


Scientific publications (art history and criticism):

  • Martinovich V. Russian avant-garde of the beginning of 20th century as a phenomenon of global culture // NIRS 2000 // Grodno’s university, Grodno. -Chapter 3. – Pp. 25-47.
  • Martinovich V. 5 years of silence. Vitebsk’s press of 1920-s about art avant-garde movement in the city (1918-1922). Collection of articles published by Belarussian state university, 2002. Minsk. 35-58 pp.
  • Vitebsk’s avant-garde representation on the pages of Mastactva magazine (1980-1990’s). Materials of the conference / BSU, 2000.
  • Martinovich V. Cultural backgrounds of Vitebsk’s avant-garde. // Belarussian state university’s collection of articles, 2002. BSU, Minsk. 2002. 24-36 pp.
  • Typology of Vitebsk’s press of 1917-1922 // Collection of scientific articles “Contemporary aspects of media studies”. Belarussianstateuniversity, Minsk, 2003.
  • Martinovich V. Vitebsk’s press of 1920-s about art avant-garde. BSUpost. Chapter 4. – 2003. – N3. 93-97 pp.
  • Martinovich V. What made Vitebsk’s avant-garde: causes that created phenomena //Acta Academiae Artium Vilensis. 2007.
  • V. Martinovich. Nepriklausomos žiniasklaidos vaidmuo Baltarusijos alternatyvaus viešumo kūryboje. Journalism Research/Žurnalistikos tyrimai. – Nr.3. 2011.
  • Martinovich V. Strategies of constructing of Vitebsk’s myth in first Russian translation of Chagall’s autobiographical book Ma Vie // Colletction of articles of BSU. Minsk: РИВШ, 2014. – С.106 -113.
  • Martinovich V. Mimetic and symbolic in Vitebsk’s myth about Chagall: logoepistemic fragments in autobiographic discourse // Collection of articles done by Moscow’s state university. Филологический факультет МГУ имени М.В. Ломоносова. Москва. 4-5 декабря 2014 года.
  • An introduction to the album of images by American photographer Bill Crandall, “Waiting Room”.

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