Prisoner Ustinova (2005)

Olga Chagaoutdinova‘s The Zone/Prisoners (2005 – 2007) is a series of psychological portraits taken in a women’s prison in the far eastern reaches of  Russia.

“The intent of the project was to observe human existence in a panoptic and punishing environment,” says Chagaoutdinova. “Extended interviews with the prisoners allowed me to investigate the notion of personal identity, virtually extinguished under the pressure and rules of the penal system. Gender issues and the official suppression of sexuality within the penitentiary system constituted a further aspect of my study.”