Stalking the Atomic City

Sam Jordison at The Guardian:

The area around Chornobyl was once meant to be a paradise. “They even planned to build a promenade with bridges, street lights and musical entertainment. They already started to lay the foundation of new power plant units, the apotheosis of joy and happiness looming on the horizon,” writes Markiyan Kamysh. “Until,” he says, with characteristic directness, “things got fucked and reactor number 4 blew the hell up.”

Kamysh was born in 1988, two years after that calamity, the son of a nuclear physicist who had been brought in to work as a liquidator after the meltdown. The families of liquidators were given social benefits, and cheaper food – but this association was also a source of radioactive stigma, not to mention ill health. Kamysh’s father died in 2003. A few years later Kamysh dropped out of university in Kyiv to dedicate himself to literature and the exploration of the exclusion zone around Chornobyl – as well as the disaster’s fallout in his own psyche.

more here.