The GULAG History Museum that opened in Moscow in late 2015 offers a relatively non-biased story of Joseph Stalin’s terror. However, it is unclear what place it will occupy in the current Russian memory politics, with its heroization paradigm and focus on the victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Where does the new museum stand within the official memorial discourse? Does its opening reflect any changes in the state politics of memory? Is the museum destined to become a ghetto for memories about Stalin’s victims?
About the speaker:
Andrei Zavadski is a PhD-candidate and researcher in the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group “Mediating (Semi-)Authoritarianism – The Power of the Internet in the Post-Soviet World.” He graduated from Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO-University) with a BA in Regional Studies (2009)). He also holds a dual MA in Public History from Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences and Manchester University (2014). His master’s thesis, Remembering Today and Tomorrow: Memory of the Holocaust in the Jewish Museums of Moscow, was a comparative study of three museums and ways in which they differently mediate memory of World War Two and the Holocaust.