Chernobyl: Work by Antonin Kratochvil, Maciek Nabrdalik & Donald Weber
VII photographers Antonin Kratochvil, Donald Weber and Maciek Nabrdalik have been working independently in and around the Forbidden Zone of Chernobyl, traveling into the abandoned City of Pripyat as well as its eerily overgrown green countryside. Together they have amassed one of the definitive records of the Chernobyl disaster, creating a collection of photos documenting the secret evolution of the post-atomic disaster area, pictures that reveal a haunted world. A modern city once filled with atomic engineers and nuclear physicists was lost forever to calculus error and a culture of obsolescence. Disaster happens to highly advanced societies, but what happens after the steel fences go up?
i like the photographer antonin kratochvil for many reasons ( he is czech to start with…. ) and found his work fascinating – the images of chernobyl are both horrible and quite poetic…i like the grainy, soft images of the dilapidated and abandoned buildings, and love the portraits of the local people. the photo above is one of them – completely unposed, i can just imagine antonin walking past these people and enquiring about the photograph of lenin that the man holds…and than casually taking out his camera and taking this photo ( he mention din one of his interviews that he uses canon g 11 for his street photography and i wonder if what camera he used for this shot…the man’s facial expression can be interpreted in many ways and i love the questioning look of the lady in the background….look at lenin’s ideas and look at us today could be the man saying… or he is glad that times had changed or is he sad and missing the old times…not sure but what i am sure that it is a beautiful photo telling several stories at the same time, the composition with the fence leading us into the photo and the man and woman positioned on a curve leading towards the fence….
chernobyl disaster happened in 1986 when i was living in prague…little did i know that many years later i will be photographing chernobyl children in jersey – a group of chernobyl children comes here every year for a month long stay, a stay that prolongs their life expectancy by several years . the children are brought to jersey by a charitable organisation, stay with local families and have a month filled with different activities like surfing, cycling, arts and crafts activities but also medical and dental checks…so seeing photographs from chernobyl feels always a bit personal and always very interesting…