The Soviet-era factory

Konstantin Salomatin

Published on 05/08/11

© Kon­stantin Salomatin

In the Urals, there is a small set­tle­ment called Arti in which a small fact­ory has been mak­ing scythes and sow­ing needles in an almost primeval man­ner since the Soviet period. The tech­no­logy used in pro­duc­tion has not changed for at least 70 years, everything is made by hand, or by hand-worked dinosaur-machines that have by some mir­acle remained in one piece, ghosts of the com­mun­ist times, on the walls there are ban­ners with images of Lenin and slo­gans about highly-efficient work and 5-year plans and faces of work­ers who I saw a long time ago in the magazines Ogonek and Soviet Foto of the 60’s and 70’s. In the factor­ies there are tables of hon­ours, on which pho­to­graphs of the best work­ers of the pro­fes­sion and in some factor­ies milk is given out to com­bat the effects of the harm­ful work­ing conditions.

Це� по п�оизвод��в� �вейн�� игл. ���ин�кий ме�ани�е�кий завод. Ро��и�, Све�длов�ка� обл, по��лок ���и. �ай 2009###Sewing needles production shop. Arty mechanical plant. Russia, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Arty village, May 2009 (�он��ан�ин Салома�ин###Konstantin Salomatin)

© Kon­stantin Salomatin

And pro­fes­sions whose exotic names you would be pushed to come by even nowadays — Needle eye pol­isher, Heat-treater, Scythe –cut­ter, Scythe –counter, Tech­ni­cian for rota­tional extrac­tion blades of needles etc. But what is even more strik­ing, is that the fact­ory did not die in the crisis and a large part of pro­duc­tion goes to export — includ­ing to coun­tries of the European Union.

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