Irina Popova – Welcome to LTP

An inmate washes his hands before dinner, under the sign "Save the water, close the tap". Life in LTP is surrounded by signs, instructions, regulations and rules. Labour Treatment Profilactorium for alcohol addicted in Belarus. LTP is a part of the penal system and Belarus is the only country in the world that still practices the punishment of obligatory incarceration for addicts. There are 5 LTP in Belarus, about 1600 inmates each. One LTP is for women, the other ones are only male. The main treatment is labour, and camomile tea.

 

Irina Popova

Welcome to LTP

In 1967, during the cold war, the Soviet Union introduced the system of labour treatment profilactoria which was actively used for the forced isolation of persons suffering from alcoholism and drugs addiction.

The first Labour Treatment Profilactoria appeared in the USSR in 1967 within the territory of Kazakhstan. In the future, the system of LTP was actively used for the forced isolation of persons suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction, or those who were disturbing public order and rules “of the socialist way of life.”  Citizens were sent to LTP by order of the regional courts for a period of 6 months to 2 years. Their decision was final, with no right to appeal. Human rights activists in the Soviet Union called LTP part of the Soviet “punitive psychotherapy” system. On October 25th, 1990, the Committee of Constitutional Supervision of the USSR adopted a conclusion, according to which certain provisions of existing legislation were declared inconsistent with the Constitution of the USSR and international norms of human rights. The Constitutional Oversight Committee came to the conclusion that, under the law, obligatory treatment in LTP (i.e. restriction of freedom, which is close to a criminal sentence) had been applied to persons who have not committed any crimes. After the collapse of the USSR the LTP system was abolished in most former Soviet republics. In 1993, at the Decree of the President of Russia Boris Yeltsin, Labour Treatment Profilactoria were eliminated in Russia (with later discussions in the state duma to revive the system).

At present, LTP exist only in Belarus, Turkmenistan and the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. LTP is part of the system within the internal affairs agencies of the Republic of Belarus, established for the forced isolation, and medical and social rehabilitation of citizens through the obligation to work. It is directed towards citizens with chronic alcoholism, drug addiction and toxicomania, and those citizens obliged to reimburse the expenses paid by the state on the maintenance of children in public care, in the event of systematic violations of labor discipline by these citizens because the consumption of alcoholic beverages, drugs, psychotropic, toxic or other intoxicating substances.

The book “Welcome to LTP” can be purchased here: http://dostoshop.tictail.com/product/irina-popova-welcome-to-ltp

 

 

Bio

Born in 1986 in Tver, Russia, Irina Popova is a documentary photographer and curator. A graduate of the Tver State University School of Journalism, Popova studied photography at FotoDepartament, St. Petersburg, in 2007. In 2008-2010, she studied documentary photography and mixed media at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. Popova worked as a staff writer and photographer for Ogoniok Magazine in Moscow from 2008-2009. In 2010, she moved to the Netherlands, and was artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam from 2011-2012. In 2013, Popova co-founded the Dostoevsky Photography Society collective. In 2013-2014, she curated an exhibition FFABRU/Foreign Fotographers About Russia, as part of the Open Border Festival, Amsterdam; subsequently the exhibition toured to ten Russian cities. Irina Popova has participated in numerous exhibitions and photography festivals in Russia, Ukraine, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, Burma, and Lisbon, including the Photoquai Biennale, Paris and the Noorderlicht and Breda Photo international festivals in the Netherlands. Her work has been published by Lenta.ru; Afisha Mir; Russian Reporter; Ogoniok; the Guardian; Geo International; the New York Times; Gup Magazine; and Lens Culture. Popova’s work is included in the collections of the Russian State Museum; Musée du Quai Branly, Paris; and the Rijksakademie Amsterdam. In 2014, Popova published the photo books Another Family and If You Have a Secret. She has received numerous awards and nominations, including Delphic Games of Russia (2006, 2007, 2008); Young Photographers of Russia (2008 and 2010); Best Photographer of Russia (2009); the UNICEF prize honorable mention (2009); Award of Fund of Development of Photojournalism, Russia (2009); and nomination for the Marie Claire Photo Award (2012). She teaches photography in Moscow at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia.

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Irina Popova

6 Responses to “Irina Popova – Welcome to LTP”


  • We have, in recent offerings, seen essays where photographers have taken us into their dreams, often their nightmares, in esoteric, symbolic, fashion, reality of the physical distorted to create the distorted reality of the troubled human mind. Irina Popova now drops us hard into a literal nightmare.

  • @Irina:
    what a powerful essay and information you’ve give us. I did not know about that. I’ve remember Soletnytzyn book about the daily life of Ivan Denisovich, working by -25 C in frozen Siberia.
    Russians are not so talkative, even less about this kind of topics…

    Could you tell me/us why?

    Shine! P.

  • Amazing access, Really strong set of interesting pictures and something I didn’t know about.

  • Incredible project. Excellent work. Extraordinary that such an institution should still exist. Thank you for teaching us about this.

    – Paul.

  • eduardo sepulveda

    я могу говорить!

    I just borrowed from mr. Andrei The Greatest Ever (at least to me): http://bit.ly/1sMndYP

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