Following on from the project launch workshop in February 2019, a detailed fieldwork-planning workshop took place on 29th October, 2019. The workshop was attended by all the members of the research team based in Helsinki, the people who will be leading the first phase of field-work in the Russian Federation and new recruits to the project. Professor Pallot opened the workshop by a talk in which she revisited the project’s aims and explained developments since the project launch workshop. Newcomers to the project introduced themselves and discussed the contribution they would be making to the different stages of the project. The main business of the workshop followed. This consisted of finalising the logistics and timetabling associated with the first round of interviews, which with the cooperation of the Urals Federal University will take place in Sverdlovsk oblast. Among the topics on the agenda were the methodology, recruitment of research participants, data management in the field, ethical guidelines to be followed.
The launch of the ERC Project GULAGECHOES took place on the weekend of the 9-10 February. Twenty people, including members of the project’s Advisory Board and prospective team members attended the workshop. On Saturday morning, Professor Pallot introduced the project outlining its aims and objectives, and identifying its principal challenges. The participants present who will be involved in various different capacities in the research, learned from this how their individual contributions will fit into the wider picture. After the Introduction, there were presentations by participants describing the findings of the project’s pilot study, the sources and methodologies that will be being used and pre-existing research relevant to the project’s research questions.
Yliopisto-Lehti, the University of Helsinki magazine, interviewed Professor Judith Pallot for their January 2019 issue:
“Who runs Russia’s prisons? Judith Pallot, who transferred from Oxford to Helsinki, knows prison hierarchy”