Section / Faces (2018)

I spent a few months, working in several prisons for women in the Siberia. This work is not only about the violence which naturally exists in closed institutions, but mostly about deformation.

In this part of work, I focused on portraits that were made on the first day of being offenders into the prison. These portraits were made and printed by administration and inmates obliged to have them as identification mark on any prison clothes for many years and during this time, the image disappears and deformed, as a person without security and any possibility to be alone. I tell about the system where Security as the base level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, just doesn’t exist. In such places you cannot stay alone, you are constantly under surveillance. You have to obey not only administrative but also informal rules and protocols. Outside these walls, in your everyday life, you can cover yourself with a blanket and hide. But in the bedroom where another 50 people live, everyone can remove your blanket just to have a look at the color of your underwear. On a macro-social level, this control is being realized through a dense network of administrative decrees and regulations; on a micro-social ground floor, it is imposed via a mesh of unsaid rules and unwritten sub-tribal protocols. In the enclosed space of prison, a woman is always in the position of being watched, observed.

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