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Prison Chess

Photographs of the Prison Chess series were taken in 2008 and 2009 in a maximum security facility of the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 comments

The Mark of Cain

"The Mark of Cain" is a 73 minute documentary by Alix Lambert about Russian prison tattoos and the "Thieves-in-law" who often wear the tattoos. [more inside]
posted by selton on Apr 23, 2011 - 22 comments

WHITE NIGHTS. Russia After the Gulag.

WHITE NIGHTS. Russia After the Gulag. Photographs by Donald Weber.
posted by chunking express on Dec 13, 2008 - 19 comments

An extraordinary work of art

Eufrosinia Antonovna Kersnovskaya was a Russian woman who spent 12 years in Gulag camps and wrote her memoirs in 12 notebooks, 2,200,000 characters, accompanied with 680 pictures. How Much Is a Person Worth? has all 12 notebooks online, in Russian, some images NSFW and disturbing. (Just click on no 1 to 12 to see thumbnails of notebooks.)
posted by pyramid termite on Sep 19, 2008 - 8 comments

known mostly as a place for political prisoners and for repressing political opposition

GULAG: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom. An online exhibit which includes photographs of work in the gulag, women in the gulag, living in the camp, what were their crimes, Perm-36 Gulag Camp, the history of the gulag system, the inspiring stories of dissidents and what happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 21, 2007 - 16 comments

Railway of Bones

Dead Road - Museum of Communism in the Open. "It was one of the most ambitious projects of the Stalin era, known as the 'railway of bones'. At least 10 people a day died during the four years of its construction [actually 1947-1953], but unlike most of Uncle Joe's grand designs it was never completed and now sits unfinished in the tundra, an icy road to nowhere." The transpolar railway was built by labour camps^ 501 and 503 and construction was stopped after the amnesty following Stalin's death in 1953; 800km, about half, was built. Some sections are currently in operation, but much is abandoned: depot and locomotives in Dolgoe, Dolgoe itself, labour camps, more spectacular decay. (Previously: Norilsk, which was supposed to see an extension of the line.)
posted by parudox on Aug 27, 2007 - 13 comments

Visit Beautiful Norilsk!

Norilsk is a big city in northern Siberia. On the permafrost. It was built by slave labor in the 1930s. Norilsk Nickle, a very profitable company, wants you to invest there. Some think it's a hell hole. Others think it was the downfall of the Soviet economy.
posted by MarshallPoe on Jun 21, 2007 - 30 comments

Court martial begins for Guantanamo JAG who leaked detainee list

It began with an innocent-looking Valentine's Day card in 2005. Inside the card were several slips of paper, a hastily cut-up printout of names of 550 secret detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The human rights lawyer who received "this weird valentine" handed it over to authorities, and this week the court martial begins for JAG LtCmdr Matthew Diaz, facing 36 years for divulging state secrets.
Whither goest thou, American Jurisprudence?
posted by planetkyoto on May 15, 2007 - 47 comments

Six Questions on the American 'Gulag' & Pardon Me, Please

Does the tolerance for abuses committed during the “war on terrorism” have any implications for the health of democracy at home?

The President’s broad new powers in the signing statements that enable him to override Congress have corroded the American system of checks and balances. American law enforcement agencies can now wiretap American civilians and detain citizens and permanent residents without charges, and consequently without evidence. Last week the House passed legislation to build a 700-mile Israeli-style fence on the U.S.–Mexico border and to deploy there many of the surveillance technologies tested in Iraq. Perhaps the domestic installation of wartime technologies and military surveillance in civilian settings has become acceptable to us because we have become accustomed, as Soviet citizens did during the endless Stalinist purges, to open-ended wars—wars with no opening salvo and no concluding treaty. Whether or not one agrees that American detention centers and secret prisons are the “Gulag of our time,” the comparison deserves serious consideration. It might help us shine a torch into the dark corners of repression, where the totalitarian qualities of our own society lurk, before the scale of violence ascends to Gulag dimensions.
Six Questions on the American “Gulag” for Historian Kate Brown
See also Bush seeks immunity for violating War Crimes Act
posted by y2karl on Sep 24, 2006 - 50 comments

Slavomir Rawicz

Slavomir Rawicz was a Polish calvary officer, who was imprisoned by the Soviets and eventually taken to a prison in Siberia. With 7 companions, including one mysterious american, he escaped and journeyed to the south, crossing Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Tibet before making it to British India. Or at least this is what he claims in his book "The Long Walk." Nobody has ever found evidence that he was ever in russia or that any of his companions ever existed. Oh and he also claims to have seen Yetis.
posted by afu on Mar 17, 2006 - 21 comments

Gulags, American-Style

The administration's latest innovation in its effort to export democracy: Soviet-style gulags, a network of secret C.I.A. prisons known as "black sites." [From the Washington Post]. Meanwhile, SecDef Rumsfeld says no thanks to the idea of U.N. inspectors talking to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
posted by digaman on Nov 2, 2005 - 369 comments

Bush meets with NK gulag survivor / author

Today, Bush met with Kang Chol Hwan, a survivor of the North Korean prison camps and author of The Aquariums of Pyongyang, a book Bush has read and given to his staffers.
posted by pandaharma on Jun 14, 2005 - 18 comments

Kolyma: The Land of Gold and Death

Kolyma: The Land of Gold and Death. 'Stalin's prisoners, or "lagerniks" as they were commonly called, referred to the frozen land of Kolyma as a planet, although it physically remained part of Mother Earth. This vast piece of Arctic and sub-Arctic territory, with its undefined political and geographical borders, was located in the furthest North-East corner of Siberia ... ' An online book by a survivor of the gulag.
posted by plep on Jul 24, 2003 - 7 comments

North Korea: The Bright Eyes of Tailless Beasts: testimony of Sun-Ok Lee.
Inside the Gulag from the Hoover Digest.
Human Rights Without Frontiers: Concentration Camp Analysis
posted by hama7 on Oct 27, 2002 - 11 comments

Not in favor of the death penalty?

Not in favor of the death penalty? How about a gulag in Alaska? It sounded ludicrous to me at first, but after reading the article I'm a little more open to the idea.
posted by RylandDotNet on Jun 18, 2001 - 56 comments

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