Memories of the GULAG

My GULAG is an ongoing project aimed at creating an archive of video interviews with people who went through repressions and the GULAG. 

The Museum’s Visual Anthropology Studio interviews former GULAG inmates and employees, as well as their families, and anyone who has access to memories of the GULAG through documents, archive materials, family chronicles and various other artefacts.

The studio creates films based on these recordings, which are then screened in the Museum's permanent and travelling exhibitions, and published on the Internet. Each film is centered around the interviewee or his/her family’s story – every narrative contains arrests, investigations, judicial proceedings, sentencing and incarceration. Each film also presents a firsthand account of a personal tragedy, sometimes revealed for the very first time.

The Museum needs your help in expanding the My GULAG database

The GULAG History Museum has already recorded close to 200 interviews, mostly with people residing in Moscow. In order to expand its database, the Museum requires the assistance of volunteers that will be ready to conduct and record interviews by themselves.

The studio released a handbook in 2017, primarily addressed to those who suffered from repressions and are ready to share their memories. It will also be of value to public organizations and regional museums of memory. The handbook includes seven questionnaires developed by the Museum’s staff, as well as video interviewing tips and reference materials for professional film crews.

The witnesses of the tragic events of Russian history are fewer in number with each passing year. They rarely leave testimonies, which makes recording their memories an extremely important and urgent task. These interviews allow us to preserve invaluable family histories and view them as part of a larger historical context.

If you want to share a recording, you can do so by filling in the form in the “Transfer of documents and exhibits” section.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at