SK ARPS (5 of 16)

Statement of Intent:

In these images I am illustrating the hopeless situation that the inmates would have suffered in the East German Stasi Remand Centre, called Hohenschonhausen.The images explore and portray both the echoes and reality of the culture that existed in this establishment under the brutal regime in the second half of the 20th Century.The colour pallet of the images reflect a feeling of unsaturated coldness. Helplessness pervades through the images, with reflections of stark control and psychological torture that reigned within the establishment.

Years of chilling persecution, more than threatened to de-humanise its occupants. I can picture how the mental cruelty in this place would have taken the inmate to the point of insignificance, as flagrant abuse of personal dignity was exercised from the moment of arrival. Dire conditions, 24 hour bright lighting and constant surveillance caused sleep deprivation which shattered inmates resistance to the tools of intimidation.

Some images depict the occasional glimpse of daylight which represented the only reward for an inmate who showed signs of breaking, confession was internalised as the only way out.My portfolio shows a place of incarceation that exuded a stony face of authority, of solitude and regime with an iron grip.

I can only imagine how it felt to inhabit this place resembling George Orwell’s dystopian book 1984, with desperation built in, and inward brutalisation dispatched with simple efficiency…

The Centre Commander, Siegfried Rataizick presided!


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