On Sunday, 26 April 1986, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, reactor # 4 exploded. It has been the world’s worst nuclear accident.
“It was the most challenging photographic situation I have ever encountered. The space was dark, loud, and claustrophobic; and I knew that I had less than 15 minutes to capture arresting images of an environment that few have ever seen.”
Captivating images of National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig’s nine visits to Chernobyl in 20 years tell us tragic stories of the life of the victims, the Exclusion Zone and the abandoned city of Pripyat. Ludwig ventures deeper into the belly of the beast than any other photographer, repeatedly documenting the destroyed rector #4, which will disappear under a New Safe Confinement for at least 100 years. Bordering the site of the worst nuclear desaster to date, the abandoned city of Pripyat might face a similar destiny as authorities decide what to do with it. “As engaged photographers“, says Ludwig, „we often report about human tragedies in the face of disaster, and take our cameras to uncharted areas with the understanding that our explorations are not without personal risk. We do this out of a deep commitment to important stories told on behalf of otherwise voiceless victims.“ An essay by Nobel Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev and quotes from Nobel Prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich accompany Gerd Ludwig’s emotional visual narrative.
The Long Shadow of Chernobyl (L’ombre de Tchernobyl)
29 x 31 cm
252 pages, 127 photos
English, German, French
The Long Shadow of Chernobyl
Signed and numbered edition
Signed pigment print
Title: Lenin in Pripyat
Edition: 100 copies
Pigment print on Wehmeyer Velvet
Sheet size: 29,7 cm x 21 cm
Image size: 27,7 cm x 18,5 cm