Imprisoned Youth was born at EuropeLab 2018, an international forum for young professionals with workshops exploring historical memory and representation, gender issues, territorial conflict and innovative educational methods. The team spent four days at Pitești Prison Memorial, where scores of young people were incarcerated and brutally tortured between 1949 and 1951 at the hands of Romania’s communist regime.

The research process has involved trawling through archives (both digital and physical), visiting former prisons and memorials, forming partnerships with NGOs and research centres, and translating memoirs with the highest level of care and contextual awareness. These stories are edited versions of original memoirs or interviews. In cases where external biographical information has been added to the first-person narratives, this has been indicated on the pages themselves.

The project’s team members hope that the scope of this project will contribute to a continuation of intellectual and cultural exchange between European countries and its societies’ generations. While our own political views may differ from those of our protagonists, we felt the need to give their voices a platform and ignite discussion about the phenomenon of political imprisonment.

We are very grateful to Mikhail Kaluzhsky, workshop leader and mentor, for his boundless enthusiasm, creativity and guidance, as well as to the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum for their generous financial support.


Daniel Kopp | IMPRISONED YOUTH | History of 20th century Europe and five young political prisoners

Daniel Kopp


Project manager

Daniel Kopp is Executive Editor of the online journal International Politics & Society, published by the German political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Brussels. He previously worked in various roles at NGOs, academic institutions and a television station. Daniel holds a MA/MLitt in German and Comparative Literature from the University of Bonn and the University of St Andrews, and previously spent one year studying at the University of Oxford. He also writes poetry, short stories and film scripts.

Elena Barysheva | IMPRISONED YOUTH | History of 20th century Europe and five young political prisoners

Elena Barysheva


Russian-language editor

Elena Barysheva is Moscow correspondent for Deutsche Welle. She graduated from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. She also carried out research on Polish filmmaker Wladislaw Starewitsch during European Journalists Fellowship at Freie Universität Berlin.

Helena Kernan | IMPRISONED YOUTH | History of 20th century Europe and five young political prisoners

Helena Kernan


English language editor

Helena Kernan graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2016 with a First Class BA in Russian and French language and literature. Since then, she has lived in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kyiv, where she has worked with a documentary theatre collective, the Ukrainian Centre for Civil Liberties and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. Helena translates contemporary feminist poetry from Russian into English and has spent time in Perm collaborating with the Russian human rights organisation Memorial to produce an exhibition dedicated to victims of Stalinist repression. She will begin a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures in the US in autumn 2019.

Kacper Dziekan | IMPRISONED YOUTH | History of 20th century Europe and five young political prisoners

Kacper Dziekan


Producer and partnership building

Kacper Dziekan works as a Senior European Projects Specialist in the Civic Projects Department at the European Solidarity Centre. He is also a PhD student at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Kacper holds a BA and an MA in History and BA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies from the same university. He is also a graduate of the European Academy of Diplomats, the Moscow School of Civic Education and Irkutsk State University, Russia. He has worked as a project coordinator and youth worker for several government organisations and NGOs. He is engaged in several educational, cultural, social, history and civic projects, particularly those with a focus on post-Soviet countries.

Adina Năstase | IMPRISONED YOUTH | History of 20th century Europe and five young political prisoners

Adina Năstase


Producer and partnership building

Adina Năstase graduated from the University of Bucharest in 2010 with a degree in International Relations and European Studies and subsequently pursued a Master’s degree in Security and Diplomacy at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration. She has also studied in Madrid and Mexico City. Her research interests include comparative analysis of political discourses and integration processes in Latin America. She coordinated the cultural section of the Embassy of Mexico in Romania (2014-2018) and currently works in the Latin America and Caribbean Division of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.