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Professional criminals in the camps used their tattoos as a marker of their status. This sketch of a former Vorkuta convict's "grin" tattoo reveals that he is an experienced prisoner, having survived some of the toughest camps. It shows that he had passed through five corrective labor colonies from 1947 to 1963. The tattoo was made in 1962, the year before he was released. It also juxtaposes the grotesquely sexualized image with a text that recalls the Gulag's propaganda. The text reads "Greetings from the Vorkuta camps! 1947-1963. In the USSR labor is a matter of honor, valor and glory! Shelyabozh, Eletsky, Izhma, Kozhma, Khalmer-South."

The professional criminals in the camps were known for their heavily tattooed bodies. The tattoos often included political, racist and sexist content. This tattoo uses anti-Semitic symbols presumably to tie Communists and Jews together into a single vision of oppressive overseers. The text reads "The convicts of the GULAG are a new nation of the USSR born of the Marxist devils!" Drawn in the Pechora camp system.