Today (April 26) we mark the dismal 30 jubilee of the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl. The award-winning ArtLego photographer Paal Audestad has made the area one of his preferred motives, documented in his series Chernobyl Legacy and partly also in Urban Nature.
Empty rooms and a rusty ferris wheel at an amusement park, a gas mask hanging from a hook, old posters of political boasts and nature taking over parking lots and buildings. It all tells stories of time passing. Of industry, culture and many also the broken hope of a prosperous future for the people who once lived there.
Audestad is mapping his surroundings, and when doing so he transforms symbols of human activity and simple everyday motives into art.
The nuclear disaster in Chernobyl occurred on 26 April 1986 at the power plant in the city of Prepay, in Ukraine (former Soviet Union). The explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western hemisphere.
The Chernobyl disaster was one of the worst nuclear power plant accidents in history in terms of cost and casualties. The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion roubles. The accident itself cost 31 lives, and long-term effects such as cancers are still being investigated.
(Photo: Polaroid Pictures I)