Data + Design Project

Haunting Graffiti in the Heart of Abandoned Chernobyl

Wednesday 05.02.2012 , Posted by
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Art will spread to all corners of the earth and beyond, proven here by these captivating, touching and even haunting images of graffiti around the abandoned area of Chernobyl Ukraine. The artists who created these works are as mysterious as the area itself, leaving behind stencils of small children as ghostly reminders of the vibrant life that once existed here. The images are the works of photographer Jan Smith, who has explored the nooks and crannies of the abandoned city, discovering other artists works tucked into its hidden corners.

I have to say that the first time I ran across the history of the infamous Chernobyl disaster, I was hooked for days. The story of the once vibrant area of the Ukraine and its showcase city Pripyat is a gripping one. Following the meltdown of Chernobyl’s main nuclear reactor and its ultimate explosion, the surrounding area and its city was evacuated. What was once a star example of modern Soviet design and community, transformed in a matter of days into a ghost town. Fearing the spread of radioactive contamination, most of the local population left their belongings behind, creating a time capsule of soviet life from Saturday April 26th, 1986.

The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles, crippling the Soviet economy. The disaster and its resulting coverup has been credited as a catalyst for glasnost and with the ultimate dissolution of the soviet government. It’s a sobering reminder of the incredible power and ultimate vulnerability of nuclear power, one that we are once again observing at Fukushima in Japan.

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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Comments

  1. I feel so sorry for these people and the horrible trials they have endured. May the peace and healing powers of the universe be upon them so they can get some rest.

  2. It’s hard out there especially with people wanting to mess with things that should be left alone like nuclear plants. I feel that we should find other ways to go about some things but it’s not always able to be changed. I hope that one day this area will be able to have life again and revive itself from the tragedy the fell uopn it. In a way it’s like Okinawa Japan ‘s destruction. It was once a beautiful place full of life and smiles and just fell down in a matter of seconds. I feel for everyone who suffers hardship and I hope that they all will be able to stand tall and move past the ordeals and make an even better future for themselves

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