Le prochain séminaire des études sibériennes / Siberian Studies Seminar aura lieu le mercredi 10 janvier 2024 de 14h à 16 h. Nous accueillerons Vladislav Staf (doctorant à l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle et à l’Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)) pour une présentation (en anglais) intitulée “Memorialization of the Gulag and Stalin’s terror in Russian museums”
In my research project, first of all I’m interested in the analysis of memorial museums of the Gulag that were founded since 1989 in many Russian regions. In today’s post-Soviet Russia, there are approximately a hundred museums with displays offering information about the repressions. That being said, most but not all of these are Russian local history museums (kraevedcheskie muzei), which often provide very superficial information about the camps and repressions. Museums of the Gulag are sites of memory: “static spaces where the past flickers and endures” (P.Nora), but they differ in their structure. Based on my research, I distinguish three types of Gulag memorial museums to show their diversity and heterogeneity: museums at urban sites associated with the Gulag (such as NKVD buildings or prisons), museums in former concentration camps, and museums that have become new sites of memory but whose location is historically unrelated to the Gulag. Some of these museums are private, which also plays an important role in their appearance.
My main research question is try to figure out who created these museums. When I finished my fieldwork I’d visited eleven museums – all memorial museums of the Gulag in Russia (in terms by P.Williams) created from 1989 to 2015: the museums work only engaged in the work of preserving the memory of the Gulag. Until the beginning of 2010s all memorial museums of the Gulag were created like local initiatives rather than as part of official government- sponsored efforts, although they were later supported (or not) by local authorities. The creation of memorial museums of the Gulag was initiated by museum workers and professional historians, immediately after the collapse of the USSR many of the founders of such museums were amateurs. Consequently, the exhibitions often presented Stalin’s repressions in specific ways that today seem ambiguous. So, my two main questions are who and why started to create these museums, what they think about the Gulag system and Joseph Stalin.
Le séminaire aura lieu au Campus Condorcet (14 cours des Humanités, 93322 Aubervilliers), en salle 5.067 du bâtiment de recherche nord. Il est également possible d’y assister en ligne.
Métro Front Populaire (Ligne 12) /RER B La Plaine – Stade de France
Dmitriy Oparin (UMR Passages) et Virginie Vaté (GSRL)