• The Left Chapter

Georgian Komsomol (Communist Youth) construction brigade, 1982


Georgian Komsomol (Communist Youth) construction brigade takes a break while building the new community of Niya, USSR, 1982


Niya was built as part of the construction of the BAM railway line, a largely forgotten tale of socialist construction and achievement.


The BAM sought to open up vast areas of Siberia economically. Many new communities like Niya were planned (and were built) for its route. (Numbers of these, tragically, became ghost towns with the collapse of the USSR). It was to also provide another rail access to the Pacific via ports like Komsomolsk-on-Amur.


In order to expedite construction the Communist Party called on its youth wing, the Komsomol, to send volunteers to help plan, engineer and build the line and communities along it. Volunteer brigades from the whole of the Soviet Union were formed, often along republic lines, and tens-of-thousands of young workers went into action across the route.


A brigade from the Georgian SSR was assigned to Niya.