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Vienna: Gerd Ludwig


Gerd Ludwig’s 20-year retrospective photo book, The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, published by Edition Lammerhuber, is released on the occasion of the exhibition at the Natural History Museum Vienna.

National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig visited Chernobyl nine times in the last 20 years. And he ventured farther than almost any other photographer into the ‘belly of the beast’ in an effort to document the worst nuclear disaster in history. The resulting book, with its powerful and disturbing images, is a reminder as Chernobyl disappears – literally. A second encasement, called the New Safe Confinement, will soon make the well-known image of the reactor that was destroyed by an explosion on 26 April 1986 disappear forever under a high-tech dome. But, says Gerd Ludwig, first and foremost it is a book to remember the people – those who lost their lives, and those who continue to suffer this tragedy. “I am driven by the duty to act in the name of silent victims, to give them a voice in my pictures. During my stay in Chernobyl I have met many desperate people who were prepared to make their suffering public – their only motive the hope to prevent a repeat of tragedies like that of Chernobyl.“ The book, published by Edition Lammerhuber, includes an essay by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last head of state of the Soviet Union. Accompanying Gerd Ludwig’s emotional visual narrative, he reflects on the significance of the events at Chernobyl in the light of the political developments that would lead to the peaceful end of the Cold War.

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.”

The Long Shadow of Chernobyl
Photographs by Gerd Ludwig
An essay by Mikhail Gorbachev
Published by Edition Lammerhuber in Vienna, Austria
Hardcover with a slipcase, 11×12 inches
118 photographs on 252 pages
Trilingual in English, German, and French

The Long Shadow of Chernobyl
Photographs by Gerd Ludwig
From May 14th to September 1st, 2014
Natural History Museum Vienna
Burgring 7
1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: + 43 (1) 521 77 – 0
Mail: [email protected]

Gerd Ludwig:
The Long Shadow of Chernobyl:
Edition Lammerhuber:
Natural History Museum Vienna:

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