Tskaltubo is a famous spa-resort city in Georgia known for the so-called “Waters of Immortality”. Filled with radon-carbonate mineral springs, which are known to be good for cardiovascular and endocrine systems, the city has always been packed with tourists flocking to experience the healing waters and relaxing treatments. Since the 19th century, there have been bathhouses built in the area but it wasn’t until the Soviet Union that the government declared it to be a balneotherapy center and started to build the massive classical-esque sanatoriums and facilities which are still standing today. During the Soviet era, everyone from powerful government officials to the massive workforce was able to experience the famous waters and relaxing spa treatments as there were state-mandated R&Rs, as well as doctor prescribed 2-3 week all expense paid treatment sessions in the city.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence of Georgia, tourism fell and the sanatoriums were in a state of limbo with the buildings starting to decay after years of negligence. Furthermore, during a war that broke out in the region, the city and the many sanatoriums became home to thousands of refugees, some of whom are still there today waiting to be relocated. Recently there have been plans to revive the many sanatoriums to their former glory but the plans have been stop-start since the announcement in 2018. Currently, Tskaltubo has two springs open for the general public and the city is still lively with residents.
IAMSOSHA uses a Zenit21xs - a rare Belarusian SLR that came out during the end of the Soviet era and is a fitting tool to photograph the remains of the sanatorium. The use of LomoChrome Purple puts nostalgia to the forefront of each photo, as the muted colors make us reminisce about how these now decaying buildings were once filled to the brim with tourists from around the world. @IAMSOSHA captures not just the architecture but the surrounding areas and objects left behind to create a real sense of the environment and atmosphere of Tskaltubo.