About This Project

Pola Rader



The “Monotown” project is a visual tribute to human lives in environmental disaster zones, with a focus on the Nickel Monotown in Russia’s far north. By portraying my niece, who grew up in this region, I hope to strike a balance between the effects of environmental disaster and the young generation’s longing for more sustainable perspectives for future industrial development. Monotowns are small localities that are scattered like invisible grains all over Russia. They currently include 317 places in Russia, i.e., about every third town in the country. A monotown (from Russian “monogorod”) is a single-industry town whose economy is dominated by a single industry or company. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russian monotowns have been experiencing decline. Cities designed for industry turned out to be unsuitable for human life, with monotonous buildings and traces of local environmental disasters and crises. The aim of this series is to create kind of «collective portrait” of a young generation that is unwilling to continue the path set by the state in pursuit of quick industrial success.



7th edition