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Sailboats and Swans (10 Photos)

Sailboats and Swans (10 Photos)

Lena (left), sentenced for organizing a rape, and Katya, sentenced for theft. Juvenile prison for girls, Ukraine, 2009. © Michal Chelbin

 

Michal Chelbin‘s book Sailboats and Swans was recently released by Twin Palms Publishers. The images were made by the Israeli photographer in prisons throughout the Ukraine and Russia, and explore the idea of what it’s like to be locked up and constantly watched. Novelist A.M. Homes wrote the text for the book, an excerpt of which is below:

“The images are about a kind of discomfort–theirs, hers, mine and ours. It is like an old-fashioned staring contest–one guy looks at the other and the first one who blinks is the loser, except Michal Chelbin never blinks. Instead she captures with the click of a shutter. Chelbin is always looking, drawing what is hidden to the surface. She captures–we shudder.”

 

Young prisoners. Juvenile prison for boys, Russia, 2009. © Michal Chelbin

 

Hallway. Juvenile prison for girls, Ukraine, 2009. © Michal Chelbin

 

Sergey, sentenced for murder. Juvenile prison for boys, Russia, 2009. © Michal Chelbin

 

Vova (left), sentenced for theft, and Alexander (didn’t reveal his crime). Men’s prison, Ukraine, 2010. © Michal Chelbin

 

Ira, sentenced for theft. Women’s prison, Ukraine, 2009. © Michal Chelbin

 

Sailboats and swans. Juvenile prison for boys, Ukraine, 2010. © Michal Chelbin

 

Masha (left), sentenced for violence, and Sveta, sentenced for theft. Juvenile prison for girls, Ukraine, 2009. © Michal Chelbin

 

Vika, sentenced for murder. Prison for women with children, Ukraine, 2010. © Michal Chelbin

 

Welcome to Hell (tattoo). Men’s prison, Ukraine, 2008. © Michal Chelbin

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