29 November 2013
I recently received a message from someone who is studying heterotopia in relation to the ‘black site’ prisons that the CIA runs on covert detainment missions around the world. The associations between this type of ‘dark space’ and heterotopia are sometimes forgotten.
The prompt reminded me that the United States has both the world’s largest prison population, and the world’s highest per capita incarceration rate as illustrated in this interactive world map showing number of prisoners per 100,000 citizens, by country.
These images (found readily on Wikipedia) took me to a disturbing site of photographs of Russian prisons and prisoners taken by Olga Sliy. As she says, few people visit these prisons/prisoners or reflect on how they mirror, distort and disrupt the other world in which we live.
I would be interested to hear from anyone else who is undertaking work on the darker side of heterotopias.