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The Psychedelic Booby Trap Issue

Tough Questions

As you can see here, Donald Weber captures painfully intimate photos. His photography has won him all sorts of fancy honors (for starters, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Lange-Taylor documentary prize), and it makes perfect sense that some of his best...
May 1, 2011, 12:00am

As you can see here, Donald Weber captures painfully intimate photos. His photography has won him all sorts of fancy honors (for starters, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Lange-Taylor documentary prize), and it makes perfect sense that some of his best work has focused on Russia and Ukraine. The latter is where he completed his

Interrogations series. Somehow Donald gained unprecedented access to a police station in Ukraine and sat in on interrogation sessions as the young, old, rich, and poor broke down and owned up to their dirty deeds, even if the charges against them were questionable. As Donald puts it: "Without confessions and guilty pleas, courts everywhere would grind to a halt in an instant; more than 90 percent of all charges in the Russian and Ukrainian judicial systems end in guilty pleas, and only experienced criminals and highly educated defendants stand a chance. This is what the cops are doing behind their closed doors—the feudal system's trial by ordeal is still much with us." The following pages feature selected photos from the Interrogations book, which will be released by Schilt Publishing this fall. The crimes of the accused are listed underneath their photos. If you can look at them without cringing, chances are you deserve to have an ex-KGB agent yank your toenails out in a dank basement with soundproof walls. Watch Donald in action later this month in a new episode of our photography show, Picture Perfect.

PROSTITUTION

ATTEMPTED RAPE

PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS

PROSTITUTION

SOLICITATION OF NARCOTICS (COCAINE)

SOLICITATION OF PROSTITUTION (BROTHEL MADAM)

PETTY THEFT

PROSTITUTION AND SOLICITATION OF NARCOTICS

CAR THEFT