Yesterday I came across a wonderful project by Sasha Maslov. Sasha was kind enough to provide me with some additional information on his photography and his time in Ukraine.
“Fall of 2005. One of the penal colonies in Kharkiv, Ukraine.”
“The depressing view of endless gray walls with barbwire on the background of even grayer sky. There is no such thing as time exists in these walls. It’s really hard to imagine that people would try to find something uplifting in this small piece of reality inside other reality.”
“And it’s not just regular people, these fellows are there for a reason, they all committed pretty serious crimes, it’s the prison of a special treatment rank, without any benefits and little hope of cutting the time which for some of them is their lifetime. But there is something. I guess human nature in many cases doesn’t let you drop your head completely and makes you to search for the light even in the deepest shaft.”
“There is a group of prisoners who, with the support from one of the local theaters called Arabeski, makes an effort to organize a troupe and stage a play. The play was written by Jonathan Swift long time ago in Ireland and has very little to do with prison reality in Ukraine of 2005. And that’s why it was extremely moving to observe how these guys are mastering the acting, the transition between prison slang and calling each other sirs and lords, wearing wigs and costumes, rehearsing and then performing for the crowd of their inmates, relatives and guards.”
Thank you Sasha!