Chernobyl: Thirty Years On

Young, Nicholas ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Chernobyl: Thirty Years On. [Show/Exhibition]


The output is an exhibition of 12 photographs taken by Young in Chernobyl 30 years after the nuclear devastation. Research process: In May 2016, exactly 30 years after the disaster, Young visited the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. The experience affected him in ways he did not expect. What was previously alien was now also eerily familiar. The city of Pripyat reminded him in so many ways of the city he grew up in. The utilitarian architecture and uniform paint schemes reminded Young of the 1980s’ council estates of the Halewood and Speke areas of Liverpool where his grandparents lived. The concrete pipes and iron frames of the children’s playgrounds in Pripyat looked just like the swings in Greenbank Park where he would play as a child. A disaster, that happened far away, felt uncomfortably close to home. Young took a number of photographs during his visit. But it has taken him five years to be able to really look at them. Research Insights: Through the course of his research, Young has developed a methodology he calls ‘reductionism’. He defines reductionism as ‘storytelling through absence’. By deciding what to leave out of a story one can allow the audience to place themselves in it making it more meaningful for them. There is a lot of ‘absence’ in the story of the Chernobyl disaster. First there was an absence of truth in what the residents of Pripyat were told. And now there is an absence of people from the exclusion zone. The images of buildings taken in a Soviet Union that no longer exists. But still stand today. The council blocks of south Liverpool have, mostly, been knocked down. Dissemination: A collection of 12 photographs exhibited at Cafe Blah in Manchester from 16th - 30th October 2021.

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item