Unione Europea - European Union

Stories and emotions

Tomasz Kizny and Dominique Roynette are the authors of the exhibition. Click here if you want to learn their stories.

Visitors at the exhibition, especially high school students, left the poetic texts below with the promoters.

(Michele Giachetta, 4ªE, ITC Gentili, Macerata)

Ice lies at the horizon,

cold is the lord of those lands;

feeling and thoughts are frozen too.

And hope seems just an illusion.

The Gulag.

It’s the icy son

of a fake truth;

crushing free dissent;

it’s the merciless rigour

of those who affirm justice by denying humanity.

The Gulag.








(Sofia Salvatelli, 5ªC, ITC GENTILI, Macerata)


Cold, the hand is shaking in the canal.
Hunger and pain, bread
Oh soul
my almost-self
done for
broken apart, grey
like the sky.

Messiah crying out for help
I – nearly mute by now,
mute inside the mines
with my chains
the impending sinking
nothing and struggle.


Cerebral carnage,uomo



(Esther Serafini, 5ªC, ITC GENTILI, Macerata)

Gulag. This word can have many meanings: work, struggle, fear, hunger, death.

Hard labour camps used to be the keystone of USSR politic and economy; men became puppets of the system and, as such, lost their humanity.

Within the Gulag the inmates, during their detention, lost the realistic perception of themselves; the EGO was called into question and men felt like they were nothing but the gears of a huge “machine” whose aim was to exploit the labour force to obtain profit. Men were means, mere tools, objects!

Not many people know about this system put to use by the USSR during the twentieth century, still it is comparable or maybe even worse of Nazi’s labour camps system.

The workshop with Professor Mattucci opened our eyes about this issue.” How easy it is for human beings to forget they are human beings”, V.T. Salamov. 

We reflected very much on this concept. Human psychology changes within the Gulag, the survival instinct prevails and humanity is neglected.

It is very important to remember and not to forget; modern society mustn’t hide the ghosts from its past, but it should keep alive the memory of what has been done by men.  This is the only way to make the next generations aware and  to learn  from our mistakes.






I sleep on stone
(Ermini Sofia, Barbatelli Sara, 5ªE ITC GENTILI, Macerata)

I sleep on stone
sometimes I imagine that it’s silk
only not to think
about a frozen summer
made of marble and smoke

Then I look toward he horizon
I find out it’s not there any longer

I can only see sad and grey colours

My mind wonders
trying to travel far away from here
from this dishonest barbed wire walls

from this meaningless life

away from the hunger for revenge and death

My brain sometimes seems absent
almost as if it wanted to run away
and I dream of Petrograd
the city of a thousand hopes
where you feel free to live
but then you discover the other side of the coin
and suddenly you find yourself in the frost
the Russian dream disappears
like a hurricane which sweeps everything away
even the most beautiful things

I look around and I am looking to find a sign on those faces
hoping in vain to find hope in their eyes
though perhaps  it is no longer hope
we are just souls marked by our look
as if it Dmitrij weren’t my name 

but only a vague memory of time immemorial, way too far
leaving space for the emptiness beyond time

Here it is, noon
time passes quickly
I’m here
among a thousand why
and a thousand how
but in spite of everything
I am still here
in the Hell on Earth.




Gulag: why forget?
(Elena Bianchini, Gioia Castellani, 4ªB ITC GENTILI, Macerata)

There are dark places that freeze the heart,
places where madness destroys love.

Where living loses importance
and death leaves no hope.

Horror that the reason can not bear:
madness is  in charge.

They call them Gulag: life  Prisons !

Camps for re-education
Where no one could escape from.
Cruelty used to dominate:life
once entered,
you were doomed
and you lost your freedom.

A past where it wasn’t enough to be strong,
a present where you often close your eyes.

Time passes,
but the memory remains.

It ‘no use pretending,
the heart is in a storm!

How much anger and how many abandoned cries , 

How many trapped souls!

It wasn’t work,
there was no dignity,
but  a completely different reality was presented.

Too many people left
For a one way trip.

But now we are here, alive and fragile hearts
We are no longer strong
Neither important
We are human like them:
but never insignificant!

Tears are pushing,
there will never be enough
because the world goes on
burning any distance.