Chernobyl - A Museum of Bad Decisions

From celebrity deaths to natural disasters to terrorist attacks, the visuals and feelings from a major world event can stick with us as one of the first notable news stories we remember from our youth. As a young child, I sat in the living room of my small Iowa town with my parents as I watched the horrible news of a city in Ukraine where a nuclear power plant exploded, killing thousands, and forcing tens of thousands of Ukrainians to flee their homes and never return.

My 8-year-old self didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the event at the time, but the horrific memory of burning buildings, helicopters crashing, dying pets, and global panic, was tattooed into my brain. I’ve never been able to shake the memory of what I saw on the nightly news and as I got older, the need to document Chernobyl became an obsession.

The disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 left a lasting impact on the environment and the people who lived there. With this project, I aim to document the lingering effects of the accident, both on the physical landscape and on the lives of the individuals who continue to live and work in the area. By capturing the abandoned buildings, overgrown landscapes, and the stories of the people who call this place home, I aim to give a visual representation of the disaster's long-term effects and shed light on the ongoing recovery efforts. My hope is that this project will raise awareness about the potential dangers of nuclear power and the importance of addressing the aftermath of disasters like Chernobyl.