A Story of an Old Apartment

International Memorial in collaboration with Samokat Publishing House. An installation based on Anna Desnitskaya and Alexandra Litvina's book A Story of an Old Apartment



The book has been warmly welcomed by readers from a wide cross-section of the society and has paved a way for a dialog between generations – a dialogue that is much needed in our times.

This old apartment has been the home of the Muromtsev family for a century. Following the book, the installation opens a door into their lives. We are invited to witness their dark and happy days, their losses and their victories. Soon, we feel very much at home, among familiar things. The old place is a treasure trove of secrets. After all, in our history, everyone has had to keep secrets from the children, from friends and spouses, even from oneself – almost as if trying to erase whole chapters of our lives from our memories.

One way or another, nearly every family in our country was practicing this kind of survival strategy during the 20th century. Some had to conceal the knowledge of a foreign language. Others were forced to hide their family traditions, religion and rituals. Anything could bring danger and had to be kept secret: relatives, friends, letters, photographs, even names.

The family history, once erased, is not easily recreated. But that’s where old homes and everyday objects can be of such great value! First, the book, and now, the exhibition, are providing the strongest evidence to that. Yes, it’s the old, useless and usually silent things that remember everything and can tell a better, fuller story than their owners, frightened by the History, ever could have. These old things that have kept our memory and can talk instead of people are the real subject of our exhibition.

But the show is also a portrait of every single family that has navigated our History like a ship in a big ocean. There is no way to hide from History – yet, it’s the family and its home where the memories are kept of all the system’s victims, all the forgotten everyday heroes, all those swept off the deck of the ship.

The exhibition is held in the lobby of the International Memorial (5/10 Karetny Ryad) and is open from April 27 to November 3, 2017, Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm.

Guided tours for school groups of any age are provided.

Издательский дом «Самокат»