Producing, Consuming & Perceiving Prisons in the Former Soviet UnionIn The Gulag's Shadow
Meeting of the minds in amazing Nur-Sultan (09/10/2019)

Thanks to Nazarbayev University for hosting our first conference/workshop exploring punitiveness in the former Soviet Union.

Great presentations at our first conference/workshop – “In the Gulag’s Shadow: Prison and Society in Kazakhstan and the Former Soviet Union”. Special thanks to all the speakers and attendees for making this a success. We’d also like to thank Nazarbayev University and the infatigable Dr Gavin Slade for putting together a wonderful day. Thanks to all the students who made for an excellent environment, and to all participants for contributing to lively discussions!

Laura tries a Kazakh delicacy – horse shashlik – for the first time: sustenance for the conference!

Gavin Slade opens the conference proceedings

Michael Sagatis gives an emotional presentation of the prison letters of his great grandmother Jozefa who was exiled from Poland to Kazakhstan in the 1940s and died at a prison camp near Aktobe.

Laura Piacentini sets out the big themes of the IGS project

Serik Beissembayev presents the latest research on how Kazakhstan deals with prisoners imprisoned for terrorism and extremism

Botagoz Rakisheva of the Public Opinion Research Institute presents data on attitudes and knowledge of repression in Kazakh history among Kazakhstanis today.

Gavin Slade discusses the results of a study into prisoner society in different post-Soviet countries.

We were lucky to be joined by engaged and active NU students for the panels.

The final panel featured Siri Fjortoft, a Norwegian prison governor who has been involved with some incredible prison reform projects in the former Soviet Union.

Beibit Shazhimbaev, the founder of an online delivery service for prisoners in need and himself a former prisoner, shared his perceptions of the Kazakh penal system and areas for reform.

The university campus


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