Victoria Lomasko: Slaves of Moscow

Published in English this month, Slaves of Moscow  tells the story of twelve Kazakhstani women enslaved in a Moscow grocery store. The Kazakhstani couple who owned the shop forced them to work 20 hours a day. Some even gave birth in captivity, and their children were taken away or made to work too. They were set free by civil society activists in 2012.


Mutabar wrote the inscription on the drawing: “Why do the police not help us? Where do citizens turn when they have been deceived as we have? Does money really decide everything nowadays?”


Zarina, to a Civic Assistance Committee lawyer: “The police knew what was happening at the store.”

Thomas Campbell’s English translation of Slaves of Moscow was published in the current issue on migrant workers by Words without Borders. Words without Borders  promotes cultural understanding through translating global literature into English. About ten new works by international writers are published every month, in 101 languages to date.

Victoria Lomasko is a graphic artist who focuses on reportage, in the Russian tradition from the Gulag onwards. She has reported on Russian Orthodox believers, LGBT activists, underage prostitutes, migrant workers, sex workers, and collective farm workers. She’s probably best known for her reportage of the Pussy Riot hearing:


Alyokhina: “While in prison, I’ve received around fifty letters from Orthodox believers with expressions of sympathy and support.”

Her book Forbidden Art has also been published in German translation. You can read an interview with her in English in Chto Delat with links to more of her work.


Translator, editor, writer, reader

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Posted in Illustration, international, literature, translation

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