The center part of the exhibition consists of 21 banners. The first 18 were developed by the Moscow Sakharov Center, three others were added that focus on the work of the Sakharov Centers in Moscow and Kaunas and other events e.g. the annual Sakharov Concerts in Odessa; the last two focus on the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament.
In Kaunas the exhibition was presented in the English language, with the original Russian text and a Lithuanian translation provided. The German translation of the exhibitio, which can be viewed online, was prepared by the Research Center for Eastern Studies at the University of Bremen, with large contributions from the student body of the University.
In a small on-site cinema we will show several clips that have been made for this exhibition and which show aspects of Sakharov’s life and influence.
The Vilnius exhibition will also include an exhibition on how samizdat was made, and how it was smuggled out of the Soviet Union.
One of the key elements in the defense of human rights activists in Communist times and informing the Western public about their struggle for freedom and the plight of political prisoners was the smuggling of documents, writings, photos and film materials. Dissidents published their texts in “samizdat”, which could be reports on human rights abuses or literary or journalistic works.
Samizdat – “self-publishing” - was the primary means through which individuals could “publish” their uncensored writings. Texts were typed on a typewriter with multiple layers of thin paper with carbon paper in between, and this way one could create up to ten copies. The next type-up would result in another ten copies, etc. etc. To get these to the West multiple communication channels were used.
Also, as part of the campaign for their release, places of detention were either photographed or filmed, sometimes interviews were made and smuggled out, and in particularly in the late 1980s former camps in Siberia were discovered and filmed to document the horrors of the past.
The Andrei Sakharov Research Center contributes to the development of a pluralist and democratic society in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
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Andrei Sakharov Research Center
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44249 Kaunas, Lithuania
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