It’s been 3 years since the giant, more than 36 000-ton New Safe Confinement, better known as the Arch, was put over the old sarcophagus, which was damaged and collapsing. In a way, this symbolic moment also summed up my 10 years of work documenting the Chernobyl Zone, which result in the release of the photo album HALF-LIFE: from Chernobyl to Fukushima. However, just as the building of the new sarcophagus did not finish the work inside related to eliminating the radioactive threat, I still have a reason to come here. This time, I was taking advantage of the fact that in July of this year the French contractor transferred the Arch to its owner, i.e. the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, I sought permission to enter and photograph this gigantic structure.
Shortly after it was first aired, TV series Chernobyl took the world by storm. Expectedly, its enormous popularity has taken even more tourists to already quite visited abandoned town of Pripyat. One Instagrammer even set a nude photo shoot at the nuclear disaster site. So, Chernobyl writer, Craig Mazin, recently publicly asked people to respect the site and remember that it was a place of tragedy.
Before you read the rest of the article, and it will be a long read, please allow me to share a few thoughts with you. Visiting the abandoned city of Pripyat and the disaster site of Chernobyl was an experience that I was looking forward to for a very long time.
While I was there I had many mixed feelings. On one hand I was having laughs with my friends and found everything ‘amazingly beautiful’ to shoot, while on the other hand I realized I was in and nearby the place where the world’s worst nuclear disaster happened. A place of sadness and death.
Almost 30 years after the tragic explosion in Chernobyl, a film crew and correspondants for CBS visited the site to work on a story detailing the cataclysmic event. As part of the crew, filmmaker and photographer, Danny Cooke, was granted access to the site for a week long exploration. Cooke seized the opportunity to create a short film which documents Chernobyl from the perspective of his Phantom DJI 2. Equipped with a GoPro3+, Canon 7D, a guide, and dosimeter geiger counter to keep tabs on radiation levels, Cooke set out to capture the footage which you can see below.[Read More…]