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Inside the Kommunalki: Life in Tbilisi between past and present

During summer in Tbilisi, time seems to stop as people slow down to cope with the heat. Jacopo Miglioranzi shares his impressions of life in the Kommmunalki, where the effects of political and social change are felt, yet modern Georgia feels still far away. “Soviet power plus electrification make no communism.” I had been living for a couple of months in Tbilisi, in the flat of a friend, in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. Kommunalki, concrete blocks, house numbers written with spray paint, old block numbers discolored by time. Underwear and bedclothes hanging from the fragile metal supports of the balconies. Stray dogs. Taxi drivers sleeping in their cars. Summer. Men under a canopy. Smoke of cigarettes. Butts scattered around. Ritual sounds and screams. ნარდი, nardi, backgammon. Guys flock around hoping to steal some secret. From the seventh floor, where my apartment is, you can see almost everything in almost the whole quarter. The trees, the stray dogs, the slow suburban life. Women coming with huge shopping bags. Summer. Forty degrees in …