First gulag project street art appears in Moscow

First gulag project street art appears in Moscow
(Image: Gulag History Museum)

14 December 2015

A graffiti portrait of Russian writer and gulag survivor Varlam Shalamov has appeared on a wall in Moscow, the first in a project by the Gulag History Museum to honour the memory of those who experienced the Soviet labour camps.

The Russian street artist known as Zoom painted the portrait on the wall of House No.9 on 4 Samotechny Pereulok in central Moscow, close to the Gulag History Museum, along with an excerpt from Shalamov’s most famous work, The Kolyma Tales.

Varlam Shalamov (1907-1982) is best known for his short stories about life in Soviet labour camps, where he was imprisoned for around 17 years.

The Gulag History Museum graffiti project is one of various initiatives to commemorate Russian citizens sent to forced labour camps during the Stalin era. One such initiative is the Last Address memorial project, which places small plaques on the buildings where citizens lived before being apprehended by the Soviet secret police.

Source: Meduza (in Russian)