(HN, May 15, 2011) - As the world watches another nuclear disaster unfold in Japan, a pair of Canadian photographers have launched an exhibit of images that explore another disaster's aftermath - creeping decay contrasted with regeneration and transformation.
Mathew Merrett and Olena Sullivan have created "Volatile Particles: 25 Years after Chernobyl", a photographic journey through Chernobyl's exclusion zone.
Volatile particles refer to the contaminants that were released into the air from the Chernobyl reactor meltdown, half of these landing outside the immediate area and affecting regions as far as the United Kingdom.
The exhibit was unveiled yesterday in Toronto at the Bezpala Brown Gallery(BBG). It is part of the CONTACT Photography 2011 Festival.
In an interview with HUMNEWS (click here), Sullivan said the exhibit is particularly timely given the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan. Now that the so-called exclusion zone around Chernobyl is being open by Ukrainian officials to tourism, she voiced concerns that articles left behind by first responders and evacuated residents may be taken by visitors as souvenirs.
"Tourists don't have as much as a personal take on going to see this location as someone like Mathew and myself may have," Sullivan told HUMNEWS.
The images on display certainly distinguish themselves from most others released to the public: the photography and the superimposing of the day-to-day images of pre-disaster life on current day images that succeed in distinguishing this work from others who have explored the exclusion zone.
In a twist that endows the exhibit with an added element, QR codes link to videos of the disaster or to recipes still used by some of the survivors.
- HUMNEWS staff