Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead.
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Monday, 21 August 2006

Remembering The Gulags Through Art

While searching for information about other survivors of the Gulags I came across the story of an artist who spent 8 years in Stalin's prisons. Nikolai Getman was arrested in 1945 for the crime of meeting with other artists - one of them drew a caricature of Stalin and all of them were arrested. Nikolai, after his trial in 1946 was sent to Taishetlag in Russia's Irkutsk Oblast.

While Nikolai's story echos many that I have read, it is the images on his site that made me feel I had to include his tale as part of Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead.

As an artist Nikolai felt that he should make a record of the Gulag, and upon his release in 1953 he started a 40 year project, in secret, to create a series of paintings and sculptures.

The images on both pages on the site that I found are both moving and disturbing, and are accompanied by the artist's own recollections.

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