We came across Rustavi, a town in the outskirt of the capital town of Georgia, Tbilisi, during a field trip to the South Caucasus. Rustavi used to be a top-down industrial city. It was designed, organized and linked to other Soviet Polygon Towns by the center of the Soviet regime in Moscow.
The end of the Soviet Union resulted in the collapse of the chain of command and Rustavi industrial factories, similarly to other Polygon Towns, stopped functioning. The city seemed to be suspended in time between a vanished Soviet glory and a struggling newly formed Georgian regime. It was rusted and ghostly looking surrounded by highly polluted landscape.
The essay is by Malkit Shoshan and Daniela Bellelli.
Photos by Malkit Shoshan