She is a native of Minsk, Belarus, but she currently resides in Berlin, Germany. Naprushkina attended the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as well as the Fine Arts Academy in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the National Glebov Arts Academy in Minsk, Belarus. Artist and activist, her work typically incorporates non-fiction sources like official government propaganda to explore the dynamics of national power structures.
The artist is primarily concerned with undertakings that have relevance beyond the museum’s four walls. First an archive on political propaganda and now a political platform, Naprushkina established the Office for Anti Propaganda in 2007. The Office works in tandem with cultural producers and activists to fund political campaigns, social initiatives, and the distribution of underground newspapers.
A personal effort of hers in 2013, the initiative Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit has now grown to become one of Berlin’s largest, uniting a diverse group of locals with and without a history of migration. Naprushkina teaches at Berlin’s Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee in the *foundationClass. The Sussmann Artist Award was presented to her in 2015, and the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture was presented to her in 2017. She has had numerous solo and group shows at museums and galleries around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Centro Cultural in Sao Paulo, X in Minsk, the gfk in Linz, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), HAU, Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, calvert22 in London, SALT in Istanbul, and many more.
A number of Polish institutions have featured her work, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Zachta National Gallery of Art, the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK).
Until recently, the Brest/Terespol crossing was a “window to the world” or at least the EU for Belarussians, who were able to cross the border as foot travelers without a visa thanks to the so-called “small border movement.” Near-border Belarussians have been seen making mass purchases in neighboring EU nations like Poland and Lithuania due to the substantial price differences between the two countries in consumer goods, construction materials, and food. Ladybird, a bargain store, was apparently a fan favorite.
The government of Belarus was not pleased with this development, and it’s not hard to see why: the country’s industrial output suffers greatly while it sits unsold in warehouses. Due to a lack of resources, the movement was formally put on hold in October of 2014.
Naprushkina, a Belarusian artist who frequently employs the form of light cartoon story, depicts groups of people attempting to cross the border and either failing or encountering a red frontier barrier in her signature style. The cover page highlights the modest budget and ordinariness of work, which is reflective of daily life in Belarus.