"Found Documents from Sovetsky" contains hundreds of photographs, papers, and other miscellaneous memorabilia found in Baku's former Sovetsky neighborhood in Azerbaijan between 2015-2017. Slated to be demolished as a part of a larger gentrification project in Baku, Sovetsky's residents were forced their homes, some leaving various items behind with them. The Mehelle team came across these objects, including photo albums, cassettes, and more through their preservation efforts.
Mehelle is an Ajam Media Collective project dedicated to preserving the sights, sounds, and memories of rapidly-changing neighborhoods in Central Asia, Iran, and the Caucasus. Utilizing digital mapping, 360 degree video, and conventional photography, Mehelle serves as a resource for local residents, community organizers, and urban researchers long after such neighborhoods have been demolished, gentrified, or transformed by private and state-led construction projects.
“The collection was all loose and part of a larger trash pile that had been partially burned when we came across it.” - Contributor from the Mehelle Team
“Residents were forced to move quickly and as a result left behind tons of older personal and professional paperwork and media. This included things like loose photos, old business ledgers, LPs and VHS tapes, school notebooks, and newspapers/magazines. These homes and items were then further mixed up when people went through to collect material such as wooden beams, wiring, and windows from empty houses to sell. The soldier album was older and more complete than a lot of what we found, but the context of how we found it was basically the same as how we came across everything else. Unfortunately I never met the residents of the home before they left so I don't know any personal details about the people in the album.” - Contributor from the Mehelle team
Retrieved Documents from Baku
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