Tue, Aug 31 2004 04:37
running through some of the last bits of stock-take at work, I stopped briefly to leaf through an old Time-Life geography book about the USSR (which surely we should have reclassified as History?) Written in the early 80s it describes a long vanished land, parts of which are fascinatingly alien to someone born and raised in the capitalist west. Me being me, the part that struck me most was about a car company, one I'd never heard of (something of a rarity, for the benefit of anyone who didn't already know.)
The book describes the AZLK plant in Moscow as a model of Soviet Industry: a community in and of itself, based on giving the work-force a sense of belonging, and providing for all aspects of their lives. However accurate or otherwise this assessment was, the stated ethos struck a chord with the idealist in me... As I said I'd never heard of AZLK and decided to Google them - from what I can gather the company's still trading but the plant that Time-Life's writer visited has long since been abandoned, and is rather hauntingly captured in this photo essay
I mention it for no reason other than it moved me.