The project “Surveillance” presented here, consist of the photographs of the walking yard and prison cell door spyholes in former KGB prisons Baltic States and Ukraine, Stasi “Hohenschönhausen” remand prison in East Berlin, Germany, UB headquarters in Poznan and MBP (UB) prison in Warsaw, Poland.
KGB prison cells became a places for political prisoners and objectionable “unwanted” people for their dissent and “anti-Soviet activities.”
The same places in the Baltic states and Ukraine were used for similar purposes by the Nazi Gestapo, when these countries were under German occupation during WWII.
The main task of Stasi was spying on the population through a vast network of informants, and fighting opposition, dissidents and “hostile elements.” "Hohenschönhausen" prison was divided into new a part with more than 200 new prison cells and interrogation rooms and an old part that was called U-Boot, also known as “Submarine,” and was situated in the basement with no windows.
UB was formally engaged in the provision of law and order and state security, in fact was an instrument of political repression of the pro-Soviet Polish regime.
All oppressive systems used the same methods which they developed with time based on common experience.
Photographs created as part of this project are both documentary and subjective at the same time. They embody real traces of events, objects and memories, but they also serve as platforms for imagining these events, objects and memories in more interpretative form. With an "abstract" photograph the viewer plays a bigger role in the reaction to, and thus the creation of the image.
Project conducted with the support of the RUCKA Artist Residency and Tokina (Polska) Lenses company.
Project consist of more than 40 photographs, each sized 60x73cm
KGB (Committee for State Security,) was the main security agency for the Soviet Union till its collapse in 1991.
Stasi (Ministry for State Security,) was the official state security service of East Germany which was part of the Soviet bloc until reunification of Germany in 1990.
UB (Department of Security) Combined the punitive functions and functions of special secret services between 1944-1956. After de-stalinization was renamed to SB (Security Service).
© VALENTYN ODNOVIUN