Our Five-Year Anniversary Workshop 26th-27th March 2024, Christ Church, Oxford

From PI Judith Pallot: 

Five years ago in early February 2019, we had the launch workshop for my ERC Horizon 2020 GULAGECHOES (no 788448) in the Aleksanteri Institute, the University of Helsinki.  It was a great event with participants from Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, the UK, France, Sweden, and Finland.  Very soon after, the contract carefully negotiated over many months between Helsinki and the Higher School of Economics St Peterburg for the Russian leg of the field work was vetoed by Moscow, then COVID-19 struck putting major obstacles in the way of planned fieldwork which included recent permissions for interviews in prisons in all the case study countries. This was then followed by Russia’s unforgiveable war on Ukraine which had, and continues to have, practical impacts on the project and incalculable personal impacts on team members. Despite all of this we have produced results – perhaps not under all the headings we intended – and are looking forward to the project’s final workshop planned for the end of March.  That we have results to showcase and have been able to attract some of the leading specialists in post-communist penality to participate in the workshop, is testimony to the commitment to the project and resilience of the GULAGECHOES team of post-doctoral and contracted researchers, some featuring in the picture below and others of whom joined later.

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