British photographer Sebastian Lister is having a joint exhibition with Russian photographer Sergey Ponomarev entitled Russian Prison Theatre – A Photographic Journal at Pushkin House, London’s Russian Cultural Centre.

Earlier this year, I put Sebastian’s work into perspective with two contrasting posts; the first about the stereotypes of Russian prison imagery and the second about meaningful theatre programs as documented by Sebastian.

About the exhibition:

In 2009, British theatre director Alex Dower worked with prisoners in Perm Prison Colony 29, as part of Territoria International Contemporary Theatre Festival, staging three short stories – Chekhov’s The Burbot, Isaac Babel’s My First Goose, and prisoner Albert Sadrutdinov’s Butterfly.

Alex was accompanied by two leading photographers. The result is a set of extraordinary photographs that together provide a deep insight into contemporary Russian prison life – the prisoners, their work and their guards – as well as a view of a remarkable theatre project that captured the imaginations of the group of prisoners and took them on a journey beyond the narrow confines of their lives.

This collection of award-winning images presages the continuation of the companies work, in a prison in Kazan in November 2011.

Exhibition runs from Friday 16 Sept – Friday 7 October 2011, 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday (and Sat 17 Sept – Sun 18 Sept, 11am to 4pm), at Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2TA. Entrance is free.

Sergei as Babushka © Sebastian Lister