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May 14, 2012
This work stopped me cold the first time I saw it. It looked terrifyingly real, but how could it be? Are some of these people being forced to write confessions while loaded guns are pressed into their heads? It must have been staged. But soon I came to realize that these are indeed real photographs of real interrogations of suspected criminals in Ukraine.
Canadian photojournalist Donald Weber first went to Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004, on assignment. Following that first trip, he soon returned, and spent the next six years in Russia and Ukraine trying to photograph contemporary life, and its hardships, as well as the vestiges of a still-powerful, hidden system.
Interrogations is the result of his personal quest to uncover the hidden meaning of private, unpleasant encounters with unrestricted Power. It is a simple, elegant book that sears itself into your memory.
See many more photographs, and read the compelling interview with Donald Weber, in Lens Culture.