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Looking for art from the Gulag, I discovered the Ukrainian artist Nikolai Getman (1917-2004), who created a whole series documenting the experience of the forced labour camp system. Dedicated to the memory of those who survived the Gulag and those who did not, the collection of paintings is owned by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a Washington, DC-based non-profit educational and human rights organisation “devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of Communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”
Born in Kharkiv/Kharkov, the second-largest Ukrainian city, Getman began drawing at an early age. Following his discharge from the Red Army, he was involved with a group of artists, one of whom drew a picture mocking Stalin on cigarette paper. An informer reported the sketch and the whole group was…
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