Having spent around 30 years behind bars Rulan lives in a Centre for social adaptation - a Moscow municipal accommodation for recently released repeat offenders, who are “stuck between prison and freedom”. This is where he met artist Katrin Nenasheva and journalist Mikhail Levin. Katrin has been focusing on perception of men and women who have done time in her artwork, through various materials and actions. She ran a media laboratory to investigate how ex-convicts are treated and regarded in society. Photographs taken at the media lab are printed alongside collective texts in the pilot edition of Rulan, a literary-criminal magazine.
“I am now 63 years of age, yet I don’t see my life as wasted, as even in prison people do actually live and not only try to survive.”
The non-periodical publication will be partially centred on Rulan’s life - from childhood through to present day. A truthful documentation of the relationships between the participants in the collaborative process of the magazine’s creators,“through them the perception of ex-convicts in society in general are clearly evident.” This is a magazine about life after prison. Together the editorial team lead by Rulan attempt to answer the question “How much exactly is a person, having spent most of his or her life behind bars, lost for the society?” We are invited to contribute to the project by capturing in one word association to the word “convict”, and sharing a photograph on Rulan Media Facebook page
For several months Rulan worked with students of the Institute of Journalism and Literary Arts in Moscow. The pilot version of the magazine presents a series of Rulan’s written reflections on life inside and outside the prison, to which the students have written their own alternative endings.
"R:... I am forty. Exactly twenty years ago I left this city, this one, which took my breath away those days. For it was the city of youth, my spring, my first love, which, it seems, has grown even stronger with time. O my god, this scent! Where is it coming from? There is only one person who can carry this smell: it is her. Her, my love… Twenty years have passed, yet the scent - it is here, it is now ...
Ending by Nastia B:...I am have come back to you, but are you ready to accept me?
My past, my family, having got used to living without me, looked at each other, as if to make a decision. First, of course, spoke my daughter.
- Time will tell...
Ending by Rulan: ... Our parting was filled with anguish. We were one, yet we went our separate ways. "