25 May 2018

NIOD cordially invites you to the kick-off event of two days of focus on the phenomenon of labor camps. On June 14 you are invited to attend the film symposium ‘Before and After the Gulag’, screening two cutting-edge documentaries on the Gulag. Join us at the second event on June 15, an international conference with eight speakers who will approach the topic of labor camps.

Alexander Vologodsky | The Igarka – Salekhard railway, one of Stalin’s last main forced labor projects. The railway was never completed.

We are delighted to host the Dutch premiere of the ‘The Right to Remember. Arseny Roginsky: Reflections on Himself and His Country’ (2018), directed by Ludmila Gordon. Arseny Roginsky was one of Russia’s most distinguished public intellectuals; a historian, dissident, ex-inmate of the Soviet prison camps, author, and co-founder of Memorial, Russia’s most prominent anti-Stalinist human rights organization. In 2016, for the first time ever on film, Roginsky revealed his innermost thoughts. ‘The Right to Remember’ would become his last recording before his death.

Just as interesting as the topic is the way the movie was premiered in Russia -- a premier which took place at the Memorial Society in Moscow on March 30th, 2018. Besides the public screening, the 1.5 hour film was simultaneously shown online by not one, but multiple Russian liberal news media outlets. Interestingly, it was the first time that different, sometimes competing, media agreed to hold this kind of joint action. Why did they come together specifically for this movie? Because of the high regard and respect Arseny Roginsky commanded.

The second screening, ‘Red Soul’, a 2017 documentary by filmmaker Jessica Gorter, reveals the controversial legacy of Joseph Stalin. Was he the great leader who made Russia into a superpower? The film ‘Red Soul’ sensitively examines the palette of clashing colors along Russia’s political spectrum. It shows how the past lives on in present-day Russia, and thus makes its mark on the future. This film was praised by the Volkskrant as a ‘well-designed, balanced documentary’.

Following the two movies, an interview will be conducted by Slavist and publicist, former NRC Handelsblad editor and Moscow correspondent, Laura Starink, who will interview filmmakers Jessica Gorter and Ludmila Gordon.

Join us at the second event held on June 15 -- an international conference with eight speakers who will approach the topic of labor camps, each from their own discipline. This is the closing conference of the four-year research program ‘Four Centuries of Labor Camps’ a joint NIOD – IISH (NWO-financed) investigation. During this day, the researchers will present their findings and experts will further reflect on these themes.