From the correspondence I. Chapkovsky with applicants permission to publish E. Kersnovskaya drawings


  2011

The correspondence I. Chapkovsky with Katya Pereyaslavska, Master of Information Candidate, University of Toronto

Seeking reproduction permission 

From: Katya Pereyaslavska
Date: 18 /01 2011 

Dear Sir,
I hope this finds you well!
I am about to publish an essay titled Gulag Art: Elusive Evidence from the Forbidden Territories and I would love to include two of the following images in my work:
Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia. A Woman Who Just Gave Birth is Killing Her Baby. From Naskal’naia Zhivopis’ (Moscow: Kvadrat, 1991).
Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia. Dokhodiaga (Goner). From Naskal’naia Zhivopis’ (Moscow: Kvadrat, 1991).
This paper has been accepted and peer-reviewed in the Art Documentation journal (http://www.arlisna.org/artdoc/contrib_guidelines.html) and addresses the topic of difficulties in reaserching in the field of Gulag Atr. I dedicate a fair section to Kersnovskaia's publications, promoting her works as one of the best resources for research.
I know you have strict guidelines with regard to grating reproduction permission but since this essay looks to promote the few amazing resources which are out there on this topic I think it should fall within your accepted guidelines. This is by no means a pompous academic paper looking to explore my hypothesis about her work and her motives for creating, its just just an introduction to research and resources on the subject.
I hope we might be able to work togehter on this.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Spasibo
Katya Pereyaslavska

***
From: Igor Chapkovsky 
Date: 2011/1/23

Dear Katya,
Thank you for your letter. I am happy when E. Kersnovskaya’s memoirs and the theme of GULAG in a wider context attract readers’ and researchers’ attention. However, I can’t agree that one of the greatest tragedies of the XX century may be used as an applied material for scientific and esthetic goals. I therefore have more than once had to deny requests for using E. Kersnovskaya’s work. Summarizing these denials, we have announced the general rules for reproduction of Kersnovskaya’s work on our website: http://www.gulag.su/project/index.php?eng=&page=1&list=1&foto=2
Formally, I would have to refuse your request. But if there are grounds for my consent, I will definitely agree. In this respect I would like to ask you to send me a summary of your article with the quotations of those passages where you refer to E. Kersnovskaya. I would also like to know if there will be any quotations from E. Kersnovskaya’s text or you want to use her drawings solely.
Best regards,
Igor Chapkovsky


****

From: Katya Pereyaslavska
Date: 2011/1/23

Dear Igor,
Thank you for your prompt reply!
I haven’t been writing in Russian for a very long time, so I can offer using transliteration in my letters, as a compromise. I haven’t got a Russian keyboard.
Of course, I understand your position. But I’d like to say that my article doesn’t view Kersnovskaya from a critical point (as it may be in works on History or Art History). My article views Kersnovskaya as a person who documented a very important part of History in her art works and her text.
I am a librarian and I am going to publish my work in the magazine of the libraries society (http://www.arlisna.org/). This magazine discusses new publications which can be acquired by libraries, as well as new projects and difficult fields of research. My article (please see it attached to the letter) addresses the history of GULAG, artworks and writers who wrote about this history.
Today there are very few publications about the history of GULAG art, which is why Kersnovskaya’s works are a very important “resource” for libraries and readers. It is an incredibly unique work! I don’t address her work as a critic or a professor; I promote her work as a very important “resource”, as a book that must be purchased by librarians for their collections.
I also know that the University of Toronto has only got one book - “The Price of a Human Being”, whereas other libraries here, in Canada, or in America have got nothing of her works! My article endeavors to change this situation, to distribute Kersnovskaya’s and other writers’ works on this theme and make them better known. Including the visual materials from her books into my work would be a big bonus. I know that you have strict rules regarding permission to reproduce Kersnovskaya’s drawings. I understand this. However, when I read the principles you follow, which are published on the Internet, I believe that my work will really contribute to the promotion of Kersnovskaya’s work, since it tries to promote her publications in the West, and we hope that for you it will result in the growth of books sales as well.
Thank you for your prompt reply. I am looking forward to your thoughts about my work.
Best regards,
Katya Pereyaslavska: Master of Information Candidate, University of Toronto, 2011

***
From: Igor Chapkovsky
Date: 23/1/2011

Dear Katya,
Thank you for the sincere and convincing letter. I agree to your using the following drawings in your work:
Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia. A Woman Who Just Gave Birth is Killing Her Baby. From Naskal’naia Zhivopis’ (Moscow: Kvadrat, 1991).
Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia. Dokhodiaga (Goner). From Naskal’naia Zhivopis’ (Moscow: Kvadrat, 1991).
All the best,
Igor Chapkovsky

***
From: Katya Pereyaslavska
Date: 23/1/2011
Dear Igor,
Thank you so much for the permission!
I have kept two illustrations for my editor’s specifications, and I think there will be no difficulties. Where can I send the publication? It is going to be published this spring (2011).
Thank you! I loved reading these books so much. What a life the author had! My grandfather had also been in GULAG. Reading Kersnovskaya’s notes, I was simply cold!
Katya
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From: Igor Chapkovsky
Date: 23/1/2011
Katya,
In such cases I didn’t have to think twice before denying requests for using the drawings. But this time something has stopped me. I didn’t answer you for long because I could neither agree nor disagree. Your phrase “My grandfather had also been in GULAG” has explained everything completely to me.
In most cases, the real interest in GULAG is found among people whose relatives had been there. “The ash of Klaas hammers in their hearts” (quotation). I remember very well how my mother was taken away at night. Then she was sentenced to 10 years of exile – not camps – and my father took me to her, to the Siberia. Since then, I had been looking for an answer, what GULAG was. It was in the early 1950s. And I found the adequate answer in the early 1980s, when I started reading Frosya’s notebooks (‘Frosya’ is what the family called her). In the last years of her life she lived in our family and she entrusted publication of her works to me.
I am very glad that I didn’t make a mistake when I gave you my permission for using the drawings.
Igor Chapkovsky
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From: Katya Pereyaslavska
Date: 23/1/2011
Dear Igor,
Thank you for sharing your life experience. I think such memories are not easy for people to speak about. It was such a period in history which, I hope, will never be seen by the world again. From my parents, their parents and their friends I used to hear various stories which I didn’t want to believe. How is it possible that people of the same nation treated their compatriots in such a way? I have always failed to understand this question. I am interested in the art of GULAG because drawings speak thousands of words. When you read a biography or a history published by a professor, you still don’t understand them. When you look at the drawings, you understand everything immediately. And the question arises – why?
I hope that my work will raise Canadian and American librarians’ interest in collecting books and publications on this theme. And when libraries have these books, people will start reading them and will probably understand a bit more about our complicated history.
Thank you very much for your permission.
Katya

***
From: Igor Chapkovsky
Date: 24/1/2011

Even though our conversation has passed the limits of the initial theme, I would like to continue it and to answer your question: “How is it possible that people of the same nation treated their compatriots in such a way?”
Since the 15th century, formation of slavery in Russia had started and was completed in the early 17th century. Tsar Peter I legalized the sale of serfs without lands and families. Since then, the only thing a human being had was his price, like price of a property. It was only in the 19th century when scholars began to study the Russian history. They gave the Russian slavery an elegant name ‘serfdom’, notwithstanding that it was slavery in the full meaning of the word.
All the peoples in history had slaves from other nations, and only in Russia they kept their compatriots in thrall. People of other nations knew what freedom was, whereas our slaves viewed freedom as a transition from being a slave to being a slave-owner. Seizing the power in 1917 the slaves achieved their purpose – they became slave-owners. There was a famous slogan at that time: ‘Who was nothing will be everything’. GULAG was the pinnacle of the Russian slavery; it was a revenge of slaves who had become slave-owners, and their revenge was directed first of all against former slave-owners and former slaves.
Of course, these thoughts are only an image that can be helpful in the painful attempt to understand the problem.

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From: Katya Pereyaslavska
 Date: 25/1/2011
You are offering a very interesting analysis of history. Indeed, it was slavery which began with mental slavery – the propaganda was perfect! When I arrived in Canada, I simply failed to understand how people can think for themselves, have their own ideas and write critical reviews of books. All we had been doing at school (in Russia) was repeating poems and history lessons, but we had never thought on our own.
It is a kind of mentality which provided an excellent playing field for the events of the early 20th century. I still find that Russian people just can’t think individually. But to tell the truth, in Canada there are also lots of people who only repeat what others do. This is called “herd mentality”.
Katya


The correspondence I. Chapkovsky with David Morrison
Permissions: Gulag Illustrations

From: David Morrison 
Date: 14/02/ 2011

Hi. I would like to ask for permission to display up to seven of E. A. Kersnovskaya's images on my blog, on a completely ad-free page - instead of as post. I'm interested in doing this after coming upon her work while preparing a post on a graphic novel about gulags.
http://thistlegames.com/thistle/2010/10/drawings-from-the-gulag/
If I'm allowed permission I would add a commentary expressing my admiration for both the artist's record of events and the extraordinary illustrations. 
Best wishes
David
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From: I. Chapkovsky
Date: 20 /02/ 2011 

Dear David,
Thank you very much for your proposal to participate in your educational Internet project. Unfortunately, I cannot allow publication of drawings of E.Kersnovskaya in the same project with Danzig Baldaev. Danzig Baldaev had worked for 1930 years as a member of NKVD and was a successful interrogator. As he retired he lost physical opportunity to torture people, then he started to draw to fulfill his sadistic inclinations. This phenomenon is well known in modern psychology as “collection of serial killer”, in which such a killer gets pleasure reminiscing about his crimes. His collection could be included into the theme “Integral evil in human history”, together with medieval and more ancient drawings of torture of human body. I regard publication and study of those drawings as immoral, as they proclaim victory of infernal evil above human spirit. Memoirs of E.Kersnovskaya uphold the value of life. In the example of her life she had proved that Gulag can be conquered by the strength of human spirit. I can continue our discussion about publication of Kersnovskaya’s drawings, if and when we reach understanding of aims and principles of theme of Gulag. If, by any chance, you can read Russian that would make commucations a lot easier, as at present I have to involve a translator.
Best regards,
Igor Chapkovski


The correspondence I. Chapkovsky with Skookum Via Lobos ( Canada )
Permissions: Expose of Stalinist Russia

From: Skookum Via Lobos
 Date: 17 /02/ 2011 

I write a Conservative message for Flopping Aces (www.floppingaces.net). I would like to write a review of this story and use passages and art work from the series. I will treat the writing with respect; it is a heart warming story of courage ad perseverance. I am a firm believer in freedom and liberty and write against Marxism. Please feel free to review my posts, I am a Canadian horse dentist and write about analogies with life in Northern Canada, the animals and people of the mountains. I understand how difficult it is to survive in 40 below and often write conservative stories about survival. You will probably have a few more people visit and read the story if I publish a review.
Good Luck, Skook.

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From: I. Chapkovsky
Date:  10/03/2011

Dear Sir,
I’ve got acquainted with your posts and some information about you on www.floppingaces.net
(Skookum : A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook has worked internationally and continues to work with horses, still learning life's lessons from one of the greatest instructors throughout history, the horse.)
The very subject of survival in extreme conditions and getting over difficulties is interesting and worthy of respect. I also share your conservative views, not only regarding Marxism as a theory, but also regarding the way it had developed in practice in the USSR.
I would like to stress, however, that the GULAG theme, Kersnovskaya was writing about, is not just a matter of surviving in extreme conditions. First of all, it is a global social and historic problem, concerning the memory of millions of innocent victims.
GULAG is a story of years-long violence against human dignity caused by other people. (And those were people of the same country, the same language and the same history as the victims). In GULAG, people had to face the infernal evil, which is the evil that could not be explained by any practical interests of the executioners. And the harsh physical conditions that caused death to millions of prisoners had been created by people in a far greater degree than by the nature. Under such conditions, the strength of mind – not of the body - could only enable people to survive and win.
The memoires of Kersnovskaya is therefore a story of the human mind triumphing over infernal evil. This is the principal difference between Kersnovskaya’s story and stories of survival in extreme environmental conditions. And I can’t give my permission for using Kersnovskaya’s work in a context like that.
Please see the conditions for reprint permission on our website http://www.gulag.su/project/index.php?eng=1&page=1&list=1&foto=2. So far, I see no reasons for breaking these rules. However, I am ready to continue discussing the matter if you can give sound arguments that your request meets the said conditions.
In case of need, please see the link to the English-language translation of some of Kersnovskaya’s notes (those are parts of the album versions of her work): http://www.gulag.su/album/index.php?eng=1&page=0
All the best,
Igor Chapkovsky


The correspondence I. Chapkovsky with Patrice Cabirou (professeur d'histoire et de geographie en France)
Demande d'autorisation de reproduction

From: Patrice Cabirou
Date: 14/03/2011 

Hello, Mr. Chapkovsky
Actually, I'm working for a project of a book for geography french teachers. I would like to reprint a Mrs.Kersnovskaya's draw whose references are :
http://www.gulag.su/albom/123.php?ris=9_70
This document must illustrate with two others (a modern photography of the camp of Slekhard and an archive from the Gepeou) the Gulag heritages of the north siberian territories.
Could you tell me what are the conditions to be allowed to use this picture ?
Sincerely yours,
Patrice Cabirou (professeur d'histoire et de geographie en France)

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From: I. Chapkovsky
Date:  15 /03/2011 

Dear Mr. Cabirou,
Thank you for your interest in the theme of GULAG which was one of the largest catastrophes of the 20th century. I believe it important to make young people acquainted with this subject. I myself work in the educational sphere and try to awake pupils’ interest in the GULAG theme.
I keep the archive of E. Kersnovskaya’s handwritten notebooks, as well as publications that appeared when she was alive and after her death. Here are the conditions for reproduction.
I would like to receive the book where this drawing by Kersnovskaya will be used.
- The drawing must be supplied with this copyright line: © Igor Chapkovsky, the inheritor.
- There must also be the active reference to the corresponding website page that you have given in your letter
http://www.gulag.su/albom/123.php?ris=9_70.
Under these conditions I agree to give permission for reproduction of this drawing in your book.
Kind regards,
Igor Chapkovsky.

***
From: Patrice Cabirou
Date: 14 /03/ 2011 

Dear Mr. Chapkovsky,
Thank you for your answer. I've sent it to the director of our project to have his agreement. I'll inform you in a next mail about his reaction. According to me, there will be no problem.
This book is book of geography, not of history. Its goal is to analyse several places in the world to make undesrtand to the french pupils (15/16 years old)some important problems. My chapter concern russian arctic world. We want to underline, among contemporary stakes, that this territories are also marked by the soviet inheritance. Its development is connected to Gulag. The draw of Mrs Kersnovskaya (http://www.gulag.su/albom/123.php?ris=9_70) is remarkable by its quality, and the biography of its author. Could you confirm that it must be understood as a testimony of the period when Mrs Kersnovskaya was in the region of Norilsk (Норильлаг) ?
Thank you again for your work and your cooperation,
Kind regards,
Patrice Cabirou

***
From: I. Chapkovsky
Date: 17 /03/ 2011 

Dear Mr. Cabirou,
I would like to have a clear understanding of what you said in your last letter (specifically in the second passage). Would you be so kind as to dublicate the same letter in your native language, French. I would also appreciate if you made sentences a bit shorter and simpler.
Regarding your idea that this drawing is a testimony of the period when Kersnovskaya was in Norilsk, here is a quotation from her text confirming this fact: http://www.gulag.su/album/index.php?eng=1&page=1&list=1&foto=16
("In winter 1952, Euphrosinia was at general works in a team clearing railroad tracks....")
All the best,
Igor Chapkovsky

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From: Patrice Cabirou
Date: 17 /03/ 2011 

Dear Mr. Chapkovsky,
Sorry for my so bad english.
In french:
Le livre est un livre de géographie. Il s'adresse aux professeurs de géographie des lycéens de 15/16 ans. Il leur propose des séances, des documents, des exercices. Il est composé de plusieurs chapitres. Chaque chapitre traite un thème de notre programme de géographie. Chaque chapitre présente un lieu qui permet d'étudier un problème géographique important (la nourriture, l'eau, l'énergie, la ville, les risques...). On insiste particulièrement sur les problèmes de développement et de développement durable (sustainable development in english). Le chapitre dont je m'occupe s'intitule : les mondes arctiques aujourd'hui. J'ai choisi de travailler sur le monde arctique russe. L'essentiel du travail que je prépare (sur livre et sur DVD) porte sur des enjeux contemporains (par exemple les problèmes de l'exploitation du gaz). Mais je souhaite aussi souligner que l'Arctique russe est un "lieu de mémoire" du goulag. Ce territoire porte encore aujourd'hui les traces de cette tragédie. Ces milliers de déportés, ces milliers de morts, ont participé sous la contrainte à la mise en valeur de cet espace. Je propose donc trois documents (voir la pièce jointe) avec des questions et une correction à ces questions. Un de ces trois documents est le dessin de Mme Kersnovskaya.
I hope that you'll understand these some words in french. I apologize once again for my so bad english. If you have any problem to traduce, tell me. I'll ask a friend to translate it in (good) english.
Kind regards,
Patrice Cabirou

This book is book of geography, not of history. Its goal is to analyse several places in the world to make undesrtand to the french pupils (15/16 years old)some important problems. My chapter concern russian arctic world. We want to underline, among contemporary stakes, that this territories are also marked by the soviet inheritance. Its development is connected to Gulag. The draw of (http://www.gulag.su/albom/123.php?ris=9_70) is remarkable by its quality, and the biography of its author. Could you confirm that it must be understood as a testimony of the period when Mrs Kersnovskaya was in the region of Norilsk (Норильлаг) ?

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From: Patrice Cabirou
Date:   18 /03/ 2011

Dear Mr. Chapkovsky,
I sent you an old version of the documents in my last mail. This is a recent version.
Kind regards,
Patrice Cabirou

----------
From: I. Chapkovsky
Date:  18/03/ 2011 

Dear Mr. Cabirou,
Thank you for your prompt reply.
Your letter is quite clear to me now. There is no need to translate it into English.
I have also looked through the documents you attached to the letter. Here are some corrections I would like to draw your attention to.
1. In Wikipedia it said that Kersnovskaya was in Goulag for 12 years, until 1952. We think, however, that in fact she spent there 18 years, from 1941 to 1958. After she was set at liberty in 1952, she was still restricted in her civil rights and had to stay in Norilsk and continue working there to earn her living. She was able to leave Norilsk only after 1958. It is therefore reasonable to say that she spent 18 years in Goulag camps.
2. In 1983, the first typewritten copy of Kersnovskaya’s work was made. But that copy was not published or distributed, even underground (Wikipedia is mistaken, saying about samizdat publication). The first publication of Kersnovskaya’s work was only in 1990.
3. In the copyright line it is necessary to write the word “inheritor”. In many cases copyright owners buy their rights. As for me, I have inherited these rights from E. Kersnovskaya. She had lived in my family for 6 years until her death. I was her authorized representative when she was alive, and I became her inheritor after her death, which is why I believe that the copyright text must be ©Igor Chapkovsky, the inheritor.
I have got a lot of photographs of the Norilsk region, including its factories and infrastructure. The pictures were made in 1950-60s by a man, whose mother was in correspondence with E. Kersnovskaya. Please feel free to ask for any of the photographs in case of need.
Kind regards,
Igor Chapkovsky

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From: I. Chapkovsky
Date:  30 /03/ 2011

Dear Mr. Cabirou,
Have you received my last email of the 18th of March? I would like to know whether we are going to come to a final agreement on the terms of using E. Kersnovskaya's drawing.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Best regards,
Igor Chapkovsky.

***
From: Patrice Cabirou
Date:   31 /03/ 2011 

Dear Mr. Chapkovsky,
I received your mail of the 18th march. Sorry for this late answer. I corrected my work according to your remarks. In the exercice i asked the pupils to search on the internet some informations about E. Kersnovskaya. And I did an error I try to prevent them : don't trust Wikipedia without verification ! Thank you for the lesson.
The mention "©Igor Chapkovsky, the inheritor" will be precised on the document. Can we have, in these conditions, a final agreement on the terms of using E. Kersnovskaya's drawing ?
Thank you again for your cooperation.

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From: I. Chapkovsky
Date: 31 /03/ 2011

Dear Mr. Cabirou,
Thank you for your prompt reply. I think we can have a final agreement now. Here are the conditions once again:
- I would like to get a copy of your book, where the drawing by Kersnovskaya is reprinted.
- The drawing must be supplied with the copyright line: © Igor Chapkovsky, the inheritor.
- There must be the active reference to the website page, where the drawing is presented
http://www.gulag.su/albom/123.php?ris=9_70.
I would also like to know when the book is going to be published. Please let me know - I will tell you the address where a copy of the book can be sent.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Kind regards,
Igor Chapkovsky

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From: Patrice Cabirou
Date: 31 /03/ 2011 

Dear Mr. Chapkovsky,
A dizain of authors work for this pedagogic work. I don't know for the moment when it will be printed. I'll tell you. The final form will be a book with a DVD-ROM including exercices and additional documents. The page with the draw will be in this dvd-rom.
Be sure I'll contact you when I'll know more about the edition. You will give me then your adress.
Thank you.



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