The list of places where the readings have already been planned is constantly being updated. Please check the “Cities” section. If the Returning the Names is not yet planned in your city, you can organize it. Here’s what you need to know.
We believe it is important to continue the campaign in a public format. We suggest that you choose a place associated with the history of terror or resistance, gather a group and recite the names of executed people.
- You can record the reading in advance and send us your video. It would be much appreciated if you send it before October 25.
- You can plan a reading for October 29 and go live on our YouTube broadcast.
- Gather a large (or small) group of people who want to read out the names.
- Find a place where you want to hold the action.
- Select names of victims of governmental terror and prepare them for reading.
- Film the reading or go live on October 29.
Here is how to do it in more detail.
The action can be held at any symbolic or historical place in your city. It can be a monument to victims of political terror or a memorial place of resistance to a totalitarian regime, a mass grave or an execution site, a “Last Address” plaque, or any other memorial landmark.
Whether to formalize the action is up to you. In most cases it is not necessary, but it is better to check out the legislation of the country, region or city where you are planning the reading.
In Russia, for instance, the Constitution recognizes the right of citizens to hold peaceful assemblies, rallies, and demonstrations. But the federal law still requires you to notify the authorities of the planned action.
Here you can download as many names as you need, including names from specific categories: people from a certain geographic area or region, involved in a particular profession or religion, and so on. You can set the desired criteria in the advanced search of any of these databases.
It is easier to recite the names in a consistent format. We recommend compiling all name cards in the following way:
- first name, patronymic and surname of the person (it is better to put the surname at the end),
- age at the time of the persecution,
- place of birth,
- occupation (place of study or work),
- date and place of execution.
Lidiya Dmitrievna Apreleva
17 years old
Born in Harbin
Executed in 1937 in the Smolensk Region
The primary focus of the action is reading out of names of political terror victims. You can ask your participants to bring flowers and candles which will be placed at the memorial site either before the reading or right during the action.
Check out the weather: in some regions it may be cold or windy or rainy on October 29, while in others, on the other hand, it may be hot or humid or sunny. Please take this into account when choosing the place and time for the reading. Remind participants to dress for the weather so they can remain outdoors for a few hours, if need be.
There are two options.
You can record the reading in advance and send your video to [email protected]. It would be much appreciated if you send it before October 25. Thus we will have enough time to prepare your video for broadcast.
You can also go live on October 29. It is more challenging, this is why we are trying to coordinate things in advance. If you are planning to go live, make sure to inform us via Become an Organizer online form, and we will send you all the technical guides. If in doubt, email us at [email protected], and we will help you to sort it out.
- The key is to shoot horizontally. Otherwise it will be very difficult for us to upload the clip for broadcast.
- Put the camera/tablet/phone on a tripod, if possible, to avoid camera shake while shooting.
- Select names of victims of governmental terror and prepare them for reading. Try to set up the picture so that there are no irrelevant elements above or behind the people reading.
- FThe background may include a monument or city landscape, flowers and candles, or other participants in the action
- When the reading begins, please focus the camera on the face of the person who is reciting the names.
- Vertically, the person’s face should always be above the center of the frame. If you are shooting a close-up, place the face slightly up above the center of the frame. If you are taking a wide shot, position the center of the frame at waist level.
- It is important to record sound well so that names can be heard on the broadcast. Please ask participants to speak clearly and loudly enough. When filming, do not move further than two meters away from the person who is reading. Use a buttonhole microphone if possible.
- Before or after the reading, you can take a follow-up shot. Capture the location of the event, participants, flowers, candles, name cards, posters, etc.
Shoot a variety of zoom plans: general shots to show the location, middle and close-ups to show faces and details.
Before-and-after shots should last at least 10 seconds. Avoid excessive panning, zooming in or out.
These recommendations are relevant both for shooting in advance and for going live. But live coverage still requires more technical preparation, and we have more detailed recommendations for going live on October 29.
If you are planning to go live, make sure to inform us via Become an Organizer online form. We will send you all the technical guides and help you organize the process. If in doubt, email us at [email protected], and we will help you to sort it out.
Please send it to [email protected]. Be sure to let us know your location and the memorial site you have chosen for the action, and we will mention it in the credits.
If you are holding your event ahead of time, please send your recording before October 25, if possible. Thus we will have enough time to prepare your video for broadcast.
If you are planning to go live, make sure to inform us via Become an Organizer online form. We will send you all the technical guides and help you organize the process. If you have any questions about broadcasting your video, please contact us at [email protected]
In order to spread the word about the event to as many potential participants as possible, you need to announce it well in advance. Here’s what you can do.
- Create a social media page for the event. For example, a Facebook event where you can conveniently gather all interested and quickly publish updates. We have prepared several templates for you to download and adapt to your specific activity (language, date, place and time).
Facebook event page | Social media cards
- Tag Memorial in a post or add us as the Event Co-Organizer so we can invite more people to join you.
- Add hashtag #returningthenames to all relevant posts to make it easier for organizers and participants from different cities and countries to follow “Returning the Names” on social media.
- Advertise the campaign in your local groups on social media or even in your local press.
- Print posters, postcards, or stickers for distribution. We have prepared several templates that can be downloaded and adapted to your specific event (language, date, venue and time).
Poster for printing | Stickers and postcards
- And most importantly, please fill out “Become an Organizer” form, and we will share information about your event on our website and across all our social media.