Photographer and journalist. He was born in Wroclaw (Breslau) in 1958, from a Ucranian-Polish family. His family, which was originally from Tarnopol, currently part of Ucraina, had to move to Wroclaw as a result of the post-war peace agreements of 1946, imposing the repositioning of Polish frontiers.
His grandfather was deported by Stalin into a Gulag camp, where he died.
His exhibition is the result of 17 years of research and adventurous travel around Poland and the Soviet Union.
He started his activity as a photographer after general Jarukesky declared the state of war, following the emergence of the trade union movement Solidarnosc. In 1982, he secretly founded the photographic agency Dementi (to belie), with the purpose of photographing reality to literally “belie” all the lies of the Communist regime.
At the same time, beginning from some family photos, he started his research on the crimes committed by Communism.
From the mid-80s to the late-90s, Tomasz Kizny went in search of the places of remembrance, scrutinising state archives (where he was allowed to) and personal photos of the survivors. Besides the photos, Tomasz Kizny has collected many historic documents coming from the archives of former inmates, from Gulag administrative offices and in general from the archives of the various administrative offices of the former Soviet Union.
This exhibition is the background picture on which we intend to present the work of authors and scholars on the memory of Gulag. He recently published a new work of great importance on Stalin’s Great Terror.
The work has been published in French: “La Grande Terreur en URSS 1937 – 1938″
Dominique Roynette is the French journalist who helped Tomasz Kizny in his research and in the elaboration of his works. Dominique Roynette and Tomasz Kizny met in Poland in 1989, right after the fall of the Communist regime, when Dominique Roynette was sent to Poland to help set up a new editorial office and develop one of the first free newspapers, the Gazeta Wyborcza.