Photo by @GerdLudwig
31 years ago, on April 26, 1986 reactor #4
at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant blew up. The radioactive fallout spread over thousands of square kilometers, driving more than a quarter of a million people permanently from their homes. It remains the worst nuclear accident to date.
In 2011, the Ukrainian government legalized trips to the Chernobyl exclusion zone allowing it to become a disaster-tourism destination. The most riveting attraction for visitors is the ghost town of Pripyat: dolls are scattered in abandoned kindergartens, floors are rotting, paint is peeling from the walls, and gas masks litter-evacuated schools.
Pripyat today bears less than honest witness to its abrupt abandonment as visitors have changed its landscape: first the scavengers, who stripped the rooms of valuables and now the tourists. With limited time in the zone, the visitors often alter the abandoned environment, making compositions to be photographed close-up by countless cameras and phones.
The ever-falling chips of chalk from the ceilings have blanketed some of these “still-lifes,” often creating the illusion for the next visitors that this is how the evacuees hastily abandoned the scene.
You can learn more about Chernobyl from my book and iPad app The Long Shadow of Chernobyl.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #TheLongShadowOfChernobyl #Chernobyl #nuclear #environment #disaster #dolls #tourism