It is one thing to hear and read about Chernobyl, the nuclear power accident/distaster that occurred in the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic on April 26, 1986, to learn about Pripyat (a town of 50,000 people 3 kilometers from the reactor #4 breach) and it’s evacuation a full day and a half after the accident. It’s quite another to visit and see and feel Pripyet, a world ended as if its clock suddenly stopped. Its people were told about a minor accident that had occurred, that there would be an evacuation and that they would return in a week or so. They left everything never to come back. They left their world, their pictures, their memories, time stamped. In Pripyet one can feel this. One can feel the shadow of Chernobyl and those few days when a radiation cloud covered everything they knew. One can feel the illnesses to come and the far and near reaching effects that have manifested in these 24 years since the rupture.
This Chernobyl work is not about decay, not about destruction, but to give voice for those that could not and did not speak, who were re-located in the middle of the day two and half decades ago. Chernobyl is a kind of shrine, a reminder, a beacon warning us humans to be aware of arrogance and unconscious meanderings, with what we do can and does effect ourselves and the natural environment in our hunger for ENERGY. It is manifest all throughout this planet, whether in huge strip mines, poisoned rivers, massive oil spills, or trees cut in a way that leaves only a percentage original virgin forest, less than one hand’s fingers worth. As for Chernobyl and the 30 kilometer safe zone around it some scientists say that the site will be contaminated for the next 24,000 years. So, the question remains, do we have the time to ignore these signposts that exist in so many places in the world today?