Yury Kazarnovsky in B O D Y

In 1927, Russian poet Yury Kazarnovsky was arrested along with 11 other students as part of what the Soviet authorities considered a subversive literary circle and was sent to the Solovki prison camp, generally considered the first Gulag.

Despite its brutal hardships the camp had a cultural and intellectual life, among which is the literary magazine that Kazarnovsky published the poem “Tram“, published in B O D Y in an English translation by Boris Dralyuk.

But there were a number of other formidable figures in the arts, letters and sciences at Solovki, and to read more about them, see their work and see photos documenting their experience there is an excellent online exhibition at The University of Glasgow’s Hunterian titled Beauty in Hell: Culture in the Gulag.

The exhibition covers the history of the camp from its earliest years, daily life, the kind of prisoners and how it changed over the years as well as who ran the camp and the most prominent figure (Gorky) who visited the camp and didn’t see through the facade of the staged presentation he received. There is a further presentation of each of the arts – theater, music, visual arts, literature – including a number of texts.

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Categories: Magazines

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