Project of the permanent exhibition
The main exhibition combines chronology and a thematic story. The substantive content was divided into themes, with clear emphasise on 1939-1945. Each section tells a different story incorporated into individual time frames. All stories together build a big story which tells about the fate of people who were destined to live in Siberia
The architecture of the building encourages dividing the visit in the Museum into two main themes: the journey and life in exile. Care has been taken on each of the two levels of the exhibition to maintain a specific and characteristic atmosphere.
The ground floor will be kept in dark colours. Happy and peaceful years of the interwar period will be contrasted with the beginning of the occupation, September 1939. The journey to the place of exile is a separate theme comprising several different events: arrests, trials, sentences and transport to the place of exile. It is here that a visitor will discover wooden pillars which form a long colonnade resembling marches of people going to a distant point at the horizon. The exhibition will be deprived of decorations among which a visitor would walk; the mood in individual niches will make listening to the witnesses’ stories possible. Moreover, visitors will see significant objects, souvenirs symbolic to the journey to Siberia.
On the first floor light but cool shades of colours were used. Thanks to this, a visitor will have an impression of going from darkness to light. Such state corresponds with emotions of people who after a long wandering in overcrowded freight wagons suddenly, after their arrival at the place of destination, go outside. Light dazzles and the illusion of the distant horizon is to make an impression of infinite space. The composition so designed symbolically presents that these were not walls of the barracks and bars that imprisoned people but the vast land of Siberia, being a barrier impossible to cross. At the same time, the beauty of rough Siberia which became a prison for many nationalities will be exposed. A visitor to this space should notice the paradox of collision of the beauty of nature with the atrocity of penal servitude of the millions. This part of the exhibition will also make presentation of the daily life of exiles possible. In separated niches and rooms particular places connected with the fate of the convicts will be reconstructed.