An interesting photo project of Tatiana Ostrovskaya about a Russian women’s jail. The place no one wants to find herself in, but still living its own life.
Tatiana says that she felt the huge gap between freedom and captivity even when she arrived at the jail at her own will. Compared to the understandable and easily predictable world of unfreedom, problems and worries of the outside world may turn into monsters which are almost impossible to beat. That’s why there are so many stories about women who could not stay long out of prison. The more amazing are the stories of those who never returned to jail.
Okatteto is free now and has two kids. She is from Yamal.
Elya got free in summer 2016, overdosed and died in 2017. She was 25.
Manya sometimes finds ill animals, cures them and let them free. She returns to prison for the fourth time though.
Creativity in jail
They eat plain but tasty food
The favorite photograph of the jail employees. They say it depicts all the pain of Russia, its women who were deprived of freedom.
The maximum imprisonment term in this jail is 18 years.
Some prisoners become really close
They listen to music every day, it plays all day long
Tatiana offered Elya to get a job of a photo model in Moscow. She replied that being a girl she had found herself in a company of a guy who was a son of an influential businessman where she first tried drugs. Elya returned to that very life. She died at the age of 25.
The most popular crimes are connected with drugs and self-defence.
Zarina is from Kazan, she makes lashes and manicure. In jail she was considered the most beautiful and cunning girl.
Gulnara found help in a church. She got married and is expecting a baby now.
The girls are cleaning a school prior to September 1st – the first day of study.
Prison becomes a habit which is not easy to get rid of.
Many girls form homosexual couples in jail. When they get free, they return to heterosexual relationships.
Natalya learnt to make plush toys in jail. Today she is free and her plush toy business is growing, she has clients both in Russia and abroad.
Tattoo on the hand: Welcome to in my big world. That’s how they can beautify themselves in jail.
Maria is from Moscow, she has a daughter waiting for her. She was punished for the use of drugs.
Tanya, drug user, she comes from a wealthy family from Moscow.
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Only few of female prisoners manage to never return to prison again. Practically all those cases are connected with the full change of environment and support of other people. Some join religious communities.