The permanent exhibition is aimed to depict the history of GULAG as a single process with the inherent logic. In particular, the exhibition narrates a story starting from the foundation of a huge industrial corporation of forced labor economics to the liquidation of the system after Stalin’s death.
The exhibition determines Solovetsky Special Camp (Solovki) as a prototype of forced labor system, construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal (Belomorkanal) as the first usage of mass forced labor on the level of governmental practice. Moreover, it shows how the NKVD exponentially spread all over the country.
The showrooms are devoted to the forced-labor system, life and death in camps, everyday life of prisoners and strategies of survival. In addition, the Museum exhibition illuminates issues implicitly related to the GULAG, for instance, Great Terror and forced deportations.
On the permanent exhibition, one showroom is dedicated to the fates of children whose parents were executed or exiled to camps. Most of the children found themselves under high pressure from both their supervisors and age-mates.
As a part of the exhibition, the interactive map of the GULAG provides a view on the geography of the GULAG. This map enables the visitor to trace the development of the whole system and each camp in time and space. While VR-technologies show the insides of preserved camp infrastructure.
The exhibition approaches the GULAG history through the human dimension. In contrast to the official narrative of history, presented through archival documents, evidence and statistics, here the exhibition focuses on the personal lives of people endured repressions. The interactive multimedia format enables a visitor to face GULAG survivors, to hear prisoners’ voices.