11 April 2012
"If there is an enthusiast, there is a monument. If there isn't one, then there is no monument"
An interview with Irina Flige, director of the St. Petersburg Memorial Research Centre, by Masha Karp
On 28th March Index on Censorship, which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, awarded one of its annual Freedom of Expressionawards to Memorial Research and Information Centre. Irina Flige, director of the Centre in St. Petersburg, came to London to receive it. Masha Karp spoke to Irina Flige about the work of the Centre and about the current situation in Russia. This first part of the interview looks at the work of the Centre.
Masha Karp Why do you think you received the award?
Irina Flige I think that is a question for Index rather than for me, but in their invitation to the ceremony they explained that they were making the award for two of our projects: our Archive and our Virtual GULAG Museum. The idea of this project is to put up on the net and make accessible to everybody a huge archive of documents and data that has been collected by St Petersburg Memorial, or rather by its Research and Information Centre, over the last twenty years. The Virtual Museum of Gulag started in 2004 and has been developing rather slowly, because it requires a lot of work and a lot of money. The idea of the project was to collect material on the GULAG from all the museums in the country that deal with this theme. [Read more]