The following interview with Sergei Kovalev appears in the revised edition of Gułag, an album by the author and journalist Tomasz Kizny, in cooperation with the graphic designer Dominique Roynette, published by the Institute of National Remembrance and Picture Doc Foundation, Warsaw,2015, 496 pp.
The book showcases the major Soviet forced labour camps: the former monastery on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea; the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Sea canal; prospecting for mineral deposits on Vaygach, an island in the Arctic Sea; gold, coal and uranium mines in Kolyma; the construction of the railway line from the Urals to Yenisey River (the so-called Death Road); and a coalfield in Vorkuta (Komi Republic).
All this is illustrated by hundreds of moving photographs documenting the conditions endured by the convicts (totalling 20 million prisoners between the 1920s to 1950s). In addition to photographs discovered in archives Tomasz Kizny presents his own pictures showing former inmates and their descendants, as well as the after effects of the camp civilisation.
The interview will also be featured in a special exhibition of Tomasz Kizny's photographs due to open soon in Potsdam: DER „GROSSE TERROR“ 1937–1938 IN DER SOWJETUNION (The Great Terror, 1937-1938 in the Soviet Union. A photo documentation by Tomasz Kizny. The exhibition, organised by the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the International Memorial Society will be open from 6 March to 19 April 2015 at the Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte (House of the Brandenburg-Prussian History).
Read the interview with Sergei Kovalev, 'The Shadow of the GULAG' here