Wednesday March 13, 2013 - 8PM

Portraits de personnes arrêtées pour des crimes présumés, puis exécutées et enterrées dans des fosses communes en des lieux secrets entre 1937 et 1938 en URSS.

In collaboration with LE MONDE and Noir sur Blanc Editions. With the support of Institut Polonais de Paris.

During four years, the polish photographer Tomasz Kizny, made a huge investigation on “La Grande Terreur in the Soviet Union”.

In less than two years (1937-1938), the spread of massive repression all around the Soviet Union led to 1.7 million arrests for alleged crimes against the state. Among them 700 000 were executed and buried in mass graves in secret places.

Tomasz Kizny succeded to obtain an exceptional unlimited access to the secret files of the NKVD, and photographed the  portraits of thousands of  victims initially used as identification files during the executions. At the same time he did the portraits of surviving witnesses and documented several massacre sites.

For the 60th birthday of Staline death  and the publication of Tomasz Kizny's  “La Grande Terreur en URSS” published by the Noir sur Blanc Editions, Tomasz Kizny and our guests will discuss on this period. The portraits of convicted persons will be screened silently during the lecture, as a tribute to what is one of the strongest accusations of the Soviet totalitarianism.


Program :

Lectures, screening, debate, signature


Debate/ 8:15pm > 9 :15pm

Great Terror: historical, geographical, and politics issues

Dominique Roynette: readings of testimonies

Nicolas Werth: Historical context of Great Terror

Arseni Roguinsky: political power of Stalinism in Russia




Round-table/ 9:30pm > 10:30pm

Tomasz Kizny’s investigation: images and testimonies

Dominique Roynette: readings of testimonies

Tomasz Kizny: Investigation, Work

Christian Caujolle: photography and memory, around Tomasz Kizny’s work




Thomasz Kizny is a photographer and journalist born in Poland in 1958. At the end of the 1980’s, he started a huge photographic project dedicated to the gulags in the USSR. This project was published in the book Goulag (Acropole, 2003)

Dominique Roynette worked for French newspaper Liberation from 1981 to 1989, participated at the creation of Gazeta Wyborcz , the first independent newspaper in Poland. From 1995 to 2004 she became artistic director at Le Monde newspaper. She is co-writer of the book Goulag.

Nicolas Werth is a historian and specialist of the USSR, he wrote several books as Les Procès de Moscou 1936-1938 (2006) and La route de Kolyma(2012).

Arseni Roguinsky is a writer and historian, activist for human rights and president of the Memorialassociation in Moscow.

Christian Caujole is a photography expert, one of Vu agency’s founder. He has been artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales de la photographie in Arles and editor in charge of photography at Liberation newspaper.

Disucssion led by Serge Michel, redaction's assistant director of Le Monde



Journaliste et photographe polonais.

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Polish journalist and photographer

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Practical info

Admission: Exhibition ticket
Information and reservation:

The documentary project « La Grande Terreur en URSS 1937-1938 » was produced with the support of Association internationale + Mémorial de Moscou, from Institut Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study et German foundations Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur and Gerda Henkel Stiftung.




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