Русский | English

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Chernobyl village

Radiation. Chernobyl. These two terrible words came into our lives so long ago that we do not notice them. Residents of my Belarusian village do not care about them too…

I visited my native village Kyselyevka (Mogilyev region) again in 1990 after the eight-year break. Nothing has changed in the rural way: people raise children, plow fields, and young people have fun in the evening around a campfire. But signs "Radioactivity. Danger Zone!" appeared near the gardens...

- Now we know there is a little radiation in our region - said a neighbor - but how high radiation was after the accident in 1986, no one knows. If we had learned about all the troubles of Chernobyl disaster earlier, we left, maybe, and now it's late...

- Finally, we have learned at least some truth. We were moved not for nothing, - added my uncle Victor. - New homes built in thirty kilometers away. They say that there is less radiation, but it's hard to believe. We have only one choice: to live as we did before, or lie down and die...

Meanwhile the population of the village holds on and heals itself by a hooch.

It is difficult to say what was easier for me: to overcome the internal discomfort (a few days I shot at 40 curies radiation) or to overcome my impossibility to help my family to leave the village. But where will they go? And who will care about their land and farm?

I wanted to show the tragedy of not just one person or even a single village, but the tragedy of all our country by this photo series "Chernobyl village".

P.S. The home of my parents, grandfathers and great grandfathers: village Kyselyevka (Mogilyev region, Kostukovichskiy district) buried in the summer of 2015... Our native village is located between three cemeteries, she became a big cemetery.

1979 - 1982, 1990, 2000, 2006, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2023.

© Александр Степаненко, 2024