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Impressions Gallery

exhibitions: past

Zona

Carl De Keyzer

29th Jan - 02nd Apr 2005

Award-winning Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer documents contemporary life in Siberia's prison camps in this UK premiere.

To many Westerners, Siberia remains geographically and culturally distant, a place notorious for the horror of Stalin's prison camps. Officially disbanded in 1960, the legacy of the Gulag persists, and today the camps still house a free labour force of around a million prisoners. De Keyzer photographed some 35 camps over a two year period, revealing a harsh way of life totally isolated from the rest of the world.

Shaven-headed, gaunt young men crowd together to eat fish and hewn blocks of bread; a prisoner takes an icy outdoor shower in -40c conditions; another recovers from TB in a bleak ward where orange check fabric serves for both blankets and pyjamas. Alongside these images, more surprising revelations are made - a gang of brawny tattooed inmates labour under a bright blue sky; a smiling prisoner holds up his new-born baby, and female convicts smooch at the Saturday night disco.

De Keyzer's images, often in startling colour, jolt us with their immediacy and offer a rare insight into the lives of those inhabiting these isolated institutions.

Zona forms the second part of In From the Cold, Impressions' winter exhibition and events season.

Zona is organised by Magnum Photos.

Krasnoyarsk region. Former gulags turned into prison camps. Camp 28. Prisoners village of Egorovka. A new born baby. Families live together in wooden houses without fences at 4 hours truck distance from the main camp, where schools are located. 2001

Krasnoyarsk region. Former gulags turned into prison camps. Camp 28. Prisoners village of Egorovka. A new born baby. Families live together in wooden houses without fences at 4 hours truck distance from the main camp, where schools are located. 2001

Carl De Keyzer

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Krasnoyarsk region. Former gulags turned into prison camps. Camp 28. Prisoners village of Egorovka. A new born baby. Families live together in wooden houses without fences at 4 hours truck distance from the main camp, where schools are located. 2001 Novobirusinsk. Russia. Siberia. Camp 12. Prison camps. Former Gulags. Krasnoyarsk region. 2001 Krasnoyarsk region. Former Gulag turned into prison camp. Camp 37. Prisoners recovering in TBC hospital ward. A Bible is lying on the bed. 2001 Camp 18. Krasnoyrask. Siberia. Russia. Hospital camp. Construction. Prison camps. Former Gulags. Krasnoyarsk region. 2002

Comments

Never experienced such cold through a lens before ! Excellent, hard-hitting work. Captions brilliantly chosen.

exhibitions visitor

Fascinating - though more information about the prisoners, their terms, offences and conditions would have been helpful.

exhibitions visitor

By far the best exhibition the gallery has put on for a very long time, very moving and full of passion and tragedy. Camp 22 is a truly frightening image.

exhibitions visitor

Disturbing, Haunting, Dark. Shows clearly the political manipulation of these people for the benefit of the media.

exhibitions visitor

Extraordinary, touching, very moving, like entering into another world, thank you.

exhibitions visitor