Shortlist 2015

Elena Anosova

Elena Anosova is a visual artist working with documentary and art photography, video, archive, and installations. Originally hailing from the region of Baikal (Russia, Siberia), she is currently based in Irkutsk and Moscow. The most important part of her professional activities is devoted to personal, long-term projects that are centered around lives in closed institutions, small communities, and isolation. She is a recipient of The Aaron Siskind Foundation, World Press Photo, Center Project, LensCulture. Her work has been published around the world including National Geographic (USA).
The Problem


In Russia almost exultant romanticization of the prison culture  exists hand in hand with the brutal reality of of everyday life and living habits of inmates.

Everywhere personal space and privacy is destroyed . Total surveillance of all the aspects of social, economic and private life becames possible. The struggle for "our common future safe" excuses all. This is felt acutely in prison.

In the enclosed space of prison a woman is always in the position of being watched, deprived of physical and even the supposed possibility to be alone. Years  of forced nudity and loss of intimate space cripples an inmate's personality. The society of the penal institution is just as cruel as the crimes she commited.