Saturday, May 1, 2010

A museum trip to Chernobyl from your couch.

And why on earth would you want to do such a thing you think? For some reason I am still haunted by Chernobyl. This past Monday was the 24th anniversary of the accident and it was one of my earliest memories of seeing the news reports about it. Later on in high school I did a project on Chernobyl and was amazed at how much of the trauma was still going on. It just seemed like something that had happened so long ago, because at 15 or so ten years is a long, long time, and I couldn't believe that people had been suffering for that long. In some ways I had much the same reaction on Monday when I saw the news article on NPR about this photo journalist who did an online project about people that have stayed at Chernobyl. It is called After Chernobyl. And It is hauntingly beautiful. One line in particular I loved was:
For many, the displacement and loss of community stability was as traumatic as the accident itself.
The website takes you through a tour and it is very beautiful. Yes there are a few hard images but the amazing tenacity of the people left behind is worth seeing. There are quite a few moments of songs as well from people who live in the area and they are eerily absorbing. I don't quite understand why you would want to return to a diseased place but the beauty of their souls shines out as they sing. Maybe for some home is just so necessary they will stay no matter what the cost. The stories told are simply beautiful and I highly recommend spending an thirty minutes or so perusing the site when you get a moment. I'll end with how the photographer ends it:
I created this exhibit because I want the world to know what I know: the people of Chernobyl are not victims, mutants and orphans. They are simply people living their lives, with their own joys and sorrows, hopes and fears. Like you. Like me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got any random bits of your own?