About the Project: Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya. What's a Human Being Worth?
Since 1964 through early 1970s, E. Kersnovskaia had created a text-and-picture work about her ordeal in gulags where she had spent the period from early 1940s till late 1950s. The work consists of 12 notebooks that include 2039 notebook sides, some of which have drawings (703 drawings, mixed technique). For security considerations, E. Kersnovskaya made three handwritten copies of the notebooks with full reproduction of drawings and lodged them with various persons.
The complete album version of the work consists of 12 notebooks containing 680 sides. Each side is a drawing with an extended caption accompanying it. They often make parallel between this text-and-picture work and comic book or Russian amature painting. The album version had been created in 1970s.
By 1983, E. Kersnovskaya's friends in Moscow made a samizgat type-written version of the work. It consists of six bound volumes. The author made drawings with accompanying captions on some of empty type-written pages. By then, she was 75 years old.
The first fragments of the work were published in the Ogonyok magazine (1990, issues 3 and 4) - 64 drawings with captions, and the Znamya journal (1990, issues 3, 4 and 5) - the first third of the text without drawings. The fragment published in the British Observer magazine was accompanied with eight drawings.
An important development came in 1991, when the album Naskalnaia Zhivopis' (Cave Painting) containing 350 facsimile drawings and 120 reduced sides with drawings and text fragments was published in Russia and Germany. Its German title was "Ach Herr wenn unre Sunden uns verklagen" (Our iniquities, O Jehovah, testify against us).
With regards of drawings and accompanying text, the album "Coupable de rien" (Perfectly innocent) prepared with E. Kersnovskaya's participation and published in France in 1994, soon after her death, has been for now the most comprehensive foreign version of her work.
In 2000-2001, the full text of the work in six volumes was released under the title What's a Human Being Worth.
The only bulk-issue publication (5,000 copies) was illustrated omnibus What's a Human Being Worth (2004) released in "Corpus of Endurance and Transfiguration" series published by the Foundation for social, economic and intellectual programs (Foundation of Filatov).
In 2006, the year of Kersnovkaya's centenary, her work was, for the first time, published in full, the text and drawings (notebook version). The 856-page book opens with the foreword by V. Pasat and Eufrosinia's family photo-album. Its appendix contains archive materials (parts of investigatory records and papers on quashing of sentence to E. Kersnovskaya).
The website contains the most comprehensive electronic version of Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya's work. The text of the notebook version is full and corresponds with notebooks published in six volumes in 2000-2001. The text is accompanied with drawings inserted in the same places of the text where the author had put them. The Illustrations section contains only drawings with hand-set author's captions that are hyperlinks to the text version.
The comprehensive album version published on the website by the end of 2007, represents all 12 albums page by page. The captions are interactive. Drawings in the album version and Illustrations section correspond as cross-references. There are also unique drawings made by author only once. The comprehensive album version has been published only on the site.
All E. Kersnovskaya's drawings and photos have been scanned from the original versions.
The website www.gulag.su - is a non-profit project being underway due to the efforts of several persons acquainted with E. A. Kersnovskaya. The work on site may be accelerated and improved if some voluntary help comes. If you are ready to offer that help, welcome. Send letter.
Plans for publishing on the site
* * *
The work on the site was commenced in October 2003, by Igor Chapkovsky who has run the project since then.
|| 1. About the Project: Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya. What's a Human Being Worth?
|| 2. Conditions for reprint permission
|| 3. From the correspondence I. Chapkovsky with applicants permission to publish E. Kersnovskaya drawings
|| 4. Plans for publishing on the site
|| 5. About the name of the project
|| 6. Volunteers