INVISIBLE CITIES is a collective documentary project made by a group of independent photographers. The project is dedicated to examination of Russian monogoroda (mono – single, gorod – town/city) phenomenon. Such places include the most part of Russian industrial province. According to official data around 16 mln people live in monogoroda. All these cities were established in different eras of Russian history, but after USSR break up all of them faced same difficulties. During Soviet times the reward for hard work and inconviniet location was the possibility to be proud of labour in the name of the country wealth. What is this reward nowadays?
Starting with Alexander Rodchenko the reality of industrial province was a propaganda material praising the New Order. After the USSR break up vast territories of Russia became excluded from the media-field, thus ‘invisible’. Social and economic turmoil was the only way for these cities to gain media-visibility. That is why the stereotypical view of monogorod is rather dull and depressive. However, the reality is much more complex than stereotypes.
The aim of the project is not just plain overview of economical or social problems – it is concentrated on study of visual environment, human relations, relations between townsmen and surrounding reality. Expanding on their personal experience of submerging down monogoroda reality, presenting stories of people living there, authors encourage the viewer to look beyond expected monotony to see rich reality.