Useful days

Shortlist 2018

anastasia rudenko

Anastasia took up photography in 2009 and started with documenting domestic violence in her own family. Since then she works as documentary photographer she explores mostly underreported stories and has been working independently on a long-term project. In 2011 she was selected a member of Getty Reportage Emerging talent. In 2012 she became a partcipant of the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. In 2015 she became a winner of the Canon Female Photojournalist Award of  Visa pour l'image in Perpignan.

The Compromise

Useful days

The Days of Useful Deeds is an annual competition among the correctional facilities in the Vologda region, Russia, held since 1964. Every summer representatives of civil society, journalists and relatives of inmates get an opportunity to visit the Vologda region’s prisons for a glimpse of the life of those held there. After all the prisons are reviewed, a special commission appointed by the authorities determines the winner. They evaluate prisoners’ quality of life, their labor conditions, recreational activities such as concerts, area decorations and so on. In the August of 2017 I took a camera to 8 penitentiaries of this Russian region, Vologda, where I live myself. I was able to come in and permitted to photograph during the open-door days - a rare opportunity for media to sneak a peek inside the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN is the Russian abbreviation), a successor agency to the State Directorate of the Camps, the Gulag. These open-door days are thoroughly orchestrated events designed by the penal system’s administration to create positive publicity for Russia's prison system that remains largely unreformed since the days of Stalin.