Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Summer 2018.  Returning to the Caucasus state of Georgia, I wanted to understand more the history and health of a nation pressured by Russia to the north and shut out of NATO at the east.  Accompanied by a Georgian political activist and videographer, I explored spa resorts once made wealthy by Russian investment and tourism but which now felt hollowed out, as well as treatment facilities used in Soviet times for both curative and reconditioning purposes.  Under the Soviet rule, to speak out against Russia meant you were mentally unstable.  You were shuttled off to wards, declared mad, and treated.  These abandoned buildings—some luxurious, others institutional—have become over the years places of transitory refuge, especially for Georgian refugees who once lived in the spa-dotted playground of the Abkhazia province but who've since been displaced by the Georgia–Abkhazia civil war. "Spa Refuge," the second journey of On the Route to Calamities, presents the quiet details of making home or taking respite in such liminal spaces.  In some, the visitors have moved on or been pushed out, nails and drawings and fabrics marking their past presence.  In others, a community quietly thrives, from communal kitchens to a community shop of recycled objects.

Soviet-era Resort, near to central park, after refugee eviction, in the process of being gutted; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Communal Landing, a common feature of Georgian multi-family structures

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Foyer

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Bedroom

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Communal Kitchen

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Wash Room

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Stairwell

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Abandoned Soviet-era Therapeutic Center, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Bojormi, Georgia (2018)

Abandoned Soviet-era Therapeutic Center, parts not in ruins inhabited for a time; Bojormi, Georgia (2018)

Soviet-era Resort, near to central park, after refugee eviction, in the process of being gutted; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Abandoned Soviet-era Therapeutic Center, parts not in ruins in transitory use; Bojormi, Georgia (2018)

Bedroom

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Communal Kitchen

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Soviet-era Resort, near to central park, after refugee eviction, in the process of being gutted; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Abandoned Soviet-era Therapeutic Center, parts not in ruins inhabited for a time; Bojormi, Georgia (2018)

Doorstop

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Communal Foyer

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Communal Foyer

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Soviet-era Resort, near to central park, after refugee eviction, in the process of being gutted; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Wash Room

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Shop for Re-use

Abandoned Soviet-era Resort, located on a hill, parts not in ruins inhabited by present refugees; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

Soviet-era Resort, near to central park, after refugee eviction, in the process of being gutted; Tskaltubo, Georgia (2018)

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