Russian Torture Tools
Torture as an enhanced interrogation technique is widely practiced in Russia; about 200 victims seek help from the Russian Commitee for Prevention of Torture each year. Political, religious, and civil detainees are subjected to humiliation and harassment in police stations or while serving their sentences. The fear of physical abuse implemented by state authorities is evidently present within Russian society. Despite the legal prohibition of cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees, the law is weak in everyday practice of law enforcement. It is extremely hard to hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes and only a few cases are brought to court. Moreover, those turning to the brutal interrogation are considered to be the most productive workers by their fellow colleagues. Consequently, superior authorities prefer to conceal their methods for the sake of a high clearance rate. This project reveals an uncanny dimension of mundane objects used by the state as tools of torture : pencils, rags, books, and plastic bags. Superimposing disturbance on our visual perception of these items, the photographs create a space for re-consideration of the agency and proximity of state violence in Russia to our every day.