Chernobyl: An Inventory of Mortality

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  • Chernobyl: An Inventory of Mortality
    25 Years On
  •    I visited the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the nearby city of Pripyat 25 years on from the catastrophic events of 26th April 1986. I was not prepared for what I would find. I was the photographer "cruising the urban inferno", post-apocalypse. I was a visitor looting and preserving, collecting and salvaging. To be a tourist in Chernobyl and Pripyat's degraded reality was a luxury not afforded the residents.

    The evacuation note of 27th April 1986 read:

    "For the attention of the residents of Pripyat! The City Council informs you that due to the accident at Chernobyl Power Station in the city of Pripyat the radioactive conditions in the vicinity are deteriorating. The Communist Party, its officials and the armed forces are taking necessary steps to combat this. Nevertheless, with the view to keep people as safe and healthy as possible, the children being top priority, we need to temporarily evacuate the citizens in the nearest towns of Kiev Oblast. For these reasons, starting from April 27, 1986 2 p.m. each apartment block will be able to have a bus at its disposal, supervised by the police and the city officials. It is highly advisable to take your documents, some vital personal belongings and a certain amount of food, just in case, with you. The senior executives of public and industrial facilities of the city has decided on the list of employees needed to stay in Pripyat to maintain these facilities in a good working order. All the houses will be guarded by the police during the evacuation period. Comrades, leaving your residences temporarily please make sure you have turned off the lights, electrical equipment and water off and shut the windows. Please keep calm and orderly in the process of this short-term evacuation."

    Those residents never returned.

    WEBSITE: Further Chernobyl and Pripyat Images by Josephine Pugh.

    Blurb BOOK available HERE.