Sanatoriums Of The Former Soviet Union

Mishkor Sanatorium, Mishkor, nr. Yalta

 

Artist and Writer Jason Oddy is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of these images.  From the ‘Sanatorium’ series.  To see Jason’s body of work, click on any photograph.

 

Moldova Sanatorium, Odessa

 

Mishkor Sanatorium, Mishkor, nr. Yalta

 

Odessa Sanatorium, Odessa

 

Livadia Sanatorium, Livadia, nr. Yalta

 

In 1999, ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Oddy spent a month exploring some of the hundreds of ex-Soviet sanatoria that from Odessa down to Yalta in the Crimea line the Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. Inside places such as the Magnolia Prophylactorium (previously the Buildings, Roads and Machinery Prophylactorium) or the Valery Chkalov Sanatorium (named after a Soviet aviator hero) he found himself face to face with the leftovers of a political system at once recognisable and yet totally alien. Hydrotherapy treatment corridors. Relaxation rooms. Armless statues of heroic peasant women. All perfectly normal in a state where collectivisation and surveillance must have seemed inescapable and where holidays took place beneath an undying communist sun.

If, in front of Oddy’s lens, these places, with their strange textures and unsettling symmetries reveal themselves as brazen ideological prisms, then they also act as reminders that, no matter where in the world we live, the built environment helps regulate and manufacture us, its inhabitants. And that never is this more true than when through inculcation or mere unconscious habit we are unable to notice that it is doing so.

 

Mishkor Sanatorium, Mishkor, nr. Yalta

 

Moldova Sanatorium, Odessa

 

Mishkor Sanatorium, Mishkor, nr. Yalta

 

Sosnyak Sanatorium, nr. Yalta

 

Mishkor Sanatorium, Mishkor, nr. Yalta

 

Magnolia Prophylactorium, Odessa

 

Ukraine, 1999

 

All images © Jason Oddy

 

 

See also:

Notes du Desert

Book By Jason Oddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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