In one of the most harrowing articles on political prosecution, Anna Alchuk's husband talks about her book of dreams:
Something dawned on me during that time. Namely that it's not automatic that events on the major political stage manifest themselves as a common fate in the personal tragedies of individual people. Each person experiences it in his own way, and not even the most broad-sweeping policy can work without the participation of each individual. It is not enough to give the order: 'Do it like this!' The violent act of dictating orders from above must be covertly masked to lend it the appearance of free will and it must become a behavioural imperative for many, many people.
In an authoritarian social climate, a person who is declared guilty, begins slowly but surely to think of himself as guilty. He internalises the guilt,not because all others around him are convinced of his guilt (he has friends, even if they can no longer offer their help), but because he was charged as guilty by an authority which speaks in the name of everyone. And so everyone, regardless of whether they think the smear victim is guilty or not, will behave towards him as if his guilt had been long established. The chosen scapegoat begins, with time, to inscribe the guilt into his own body. At some point the desire emerges to peel off this body, to break out into a space beyond this perverted society which condemned him.
Wherever one seeks refuge in such a world, there is none to be found.The insecurity and the feeling of being defencelessly at the mercy of others, eventually gain the upper hand. She dreamt of a war breaking out and the world being in flames and the most important thing was to rescue the children from a burning house. My wife wrote up this dream on 17 October 2006, one and a half years after the trial against the organisers of the “Caution: Religion!” exhibition (more here).”I am standing next to a stone wall, behind which a fire is raging.Soon the fire will jump over the wall. I have to get away as soon as possible. But the most important thing is to take the children with me.'Faster, faster,' I urge them. Then we are standing in front of an underground bunker. We cross the threshold and then the doors close behind us. 'One more minute and we would have been dead,' I think,relieved. In the second dream, the world was about to be destroyed. I have to get dressed and go away…”
Michail Ryklin, In the burning house.