For 50 years or more Danzig Baldaev frequented the Soviet Union’s prisons, hospitals and city morgues. It was a personal project that took him to these places, but his profession granted him ease of access. Baldaev lost 58 family members to exile or the gulag and yet he ended up working first as a prison warden and then as a criminal investigator. His father, an ethnologist, was imprisoned as an “enemy of the people”, and it was at his suggestion that the young prison supervisor began to document the tattoos of the inmates.
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