About the Project: Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya. What's a Human Being Worth?

Project news
Art Festival «Apples of Euphrosyne»
In the House of E.A. Kersnovskaya in Essentuki hosted a traditional festival.   >>
Completion of the exhibition «Euphrosyne Kersnovskaya. The experience of Hope in difficult times» in St. Petersburg
19 group excursions were conducted.   >>
Exhibition «Euphrosinia Kersnovskaya. An experience of hope in difficult times». St. Petersburg, February 5 - March 1, 2023
On the day of the celebration of the memory of the Cathedral of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and on the 115th anniversary of the birth of E. Kersnovskaya   >>

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 2239 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.

The short album version consists of of 12 notebooks (17 parts) containing 600 sides.We have added extracts from her earlier, more detailed work. We have also added some bridging narrative to maintain the unity of the record.

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.
E. Kersnovskaia had been always looking for persons she might have logged her work with. And she found them because they, in turn, were looking for the truth about the Gulag. In late 1980s, the Soviet media started printing the stories on Great Terror. It was then when E. Kesnovskaia made I. M. Chapkovsky her copyright holder. When he asked how her work should be published she answered, "As it is," adding, "I trust you." The copyright transfer was valid, and Igor Moiseevich Chapkovsky who had no previous experience with publishing approached various media.

Ogonyok magazine

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.

album Naskalnaia Zhivopis'

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).

album Coupable de rien, published in France in 1994

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.

the full text of the work in six volumes

In 2000-2001, the full text of the work in six volumes was released under the title What's a Human Being Worth.

publication in Corpus of Endurance and Transfiguration series

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).

The 856-page book

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).

"Quanto vale un uomo" ,  BOMPIANI Edition, 2009.


Jevfrosinija Kersnovskaja. Jaká je cena člověka. – Vydala Euromedia Group, k. s. – Ikar, 2012

Jefroszinyija kersznovszkaja. Mennyit ér egy ember? – Mérték Kiadó. Budapest, 2012

Jefrosinia Kiersnowska. ILE WART JEST CZŁOWIEK.– Świat Książki. Warszawa, 2012.
Ile wart jest człowiek

* * *
Evfrosinia Kersnovskaya “Truth is like light. Illustrated memoirs of the 40-s and 50-s”. This edition consists of two volumes. The title was taken from the author’s manuscript.

Kersnovskaya E. “Truth is like light. Illustrated memoires of the 40-s and 50-s. – Moscow: Nelly Podgorskaya (Meier), 2014: portraits, illustrations  (volume 1 – 412 pages, volume 2 – 428 pages).

In summer 2016 a new edition of the work by E. Kersnovskaya was published:

Kersnovskaya E. What's a Human Being Worth / Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya. - M. : KoLibri, Azbuka-Atticus, 2016. - 800 p. + inserts (32 p.). - ("Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs" series). - Editor-in-Chief Oksana Saburova.

This one-volume edition was published almost in full and includes illustration plates with 32 author's drawings created for the book of memoirs, as well as an article titled "About the author" which tells about the fate of E. Kersnovskaya and the history of writing the book.

The book can be ordered at "Ozon" online store : www.ozon.ru.

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Project conceptualization and management: Igor Chapkivsky, Nelly Podgorskaya.
Engrossment, textual links between the albums, routs on the maps – Galina Atmashkina. Foreword – Nikita Alexeev. Afterword – Vitaly Shentalinsky. Design – Konstantin Tchubanov.

Website www.gulag.su

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.
Photo-archive section contains Eufrosinia's family album her mother had saved and brought to Russia from Romania.

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.

* * *

The work on the site was commenced in October 2003, by Igor Chapkovsky who has run the project since then.
The idea to release Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya's work on the web - Ph. Chapkovsky. Administration, selection and editing of materials, the site structure - G. Atmashkina.  Design - A. Bizyaev.  Web-design, make-up - E.Bobrova.  Translation into English - N. Hmelik.

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Reproduction of this site or any of its parts is possibly only with heirs' permission.
Conditions for reprint permission >>
©2003-2024. E. A. Kersnovskaya. Heirs (I. M. Chapkovsky).
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