Cz

Central and East Europe photojournalism

2014–2015 *  UKRAINE

The republic of Chernobyl

Chernobyl is not a thing of the past, a mere episode which took place a quarter of a century ago.

There’s nothing pretty about Chernobyl. It’s poisoned the minds and bodies of hundreds of thousands of people and is still at it. Nobody can stop it in its course, only time will. As long as people keep living here, so will Chernobyl.

It’s perpetuating itself by poisoning the human gene. How are we supposed to fight it when it’s managed to impose itself into the very essence of man and has become a part of him? It’s running through our veins, this mighty enemy. It’s as dangerous from the medical point of view, as it is (if not more) for the human soul.

 

It’s changed us.

 

But Chernobyl is not a thing of the past, a mere episode which took place a quarter of a century ago. It lives on and kicks strong. It cannot be surgically removed or driven out of one’s head. Unrestrained, it makes its own rules, as if creating a new form of life. It’s an anomaly. And people have always feared anomalies.

 

It’s the living dead in the closet of humankind. What are we supposed to do about it? There is no good answer to that question. We have no choice but learn our lesson from what happens if the humankind aims too high.

 

And stay humble.

Interested in my book about Chernobyl?

An independent photojournalistic project of a Czech photojournalist Petr Toman covering social issues within East and Central Europe