elenafilatova.com

Four Seasons 2009 (Last people)

Oswald Spengler once said that antique world was dying without knowing it, it therefore could enjoy each day, even last ones as if it was gift from gods. Our gift is one of knowing our fate. Our civilization will die consciously he said and every step of its decay will be monitored as patient who is under observation of experienced doctor.

In my work on Chernobyl I am just like one of those Spenglerian doctors who by exploring decay enjoying a gift which antique world didn't have. Perhaps Chernobyl is one of a first steps in death of our civilization. I can say that monitoring of this decay is the aim of my work. We only start writing case history of the patient, but some of us already know what will be the outcome.

Window up to nature. This photo is a quiz. Was it taken from inside or outside of the house?

This man name Pavel and woman, his wife name Nina. I found them in one ghost town long time ago. For many years their house was like base for me. Place where I could sleep, eat, use shower, maintain vehicles, fill them with fuel etc. Door of their house was always open no matter how many people I would bring and for how we would stay.

I had to bring own food and water supplies because radiation at their garden was 7 times normal. Those mushrooms were part of their daily diet and there was no way to dissuade them from consuming poisoned food.. Ones on photo exposing 40 times normal radiation. To me they look like mushrooms from atomic bomb explosion, in miniature.

(Update from 2017 Pavel and Nina household perished in 2015)

This is house where some old woman lived until this summer. She died and her house empty, still intact. In a couple of years her household will look like rest of the houses in Chernobyl.

We call this season golden autumn.

It is obvious that they are last humans in their towns and villages, after them there will be forest.

With closer look you see some sort of a halloween character standing by the window. There shall be no one, this is far away village, dead as doornail.

What keep people in Chernobyl? It is hope that people will return to abondoned places. As long as I travel in a different areas of Chernobyl I communicate with people and I hear always the same story that land is already sold out and that monks are about to start populating this area and that government plans to install solar power plant and that radiation soon will be gone... What I see is that people hope in spite of reality and reality is that it is less and less of those last standing ones..

Every time I was passing this place I used to stand and look wondering how long this 18 century church will stay in place with no people. I was very sad when I found out that church exist no more.. it burned down after lightning stroke it.

(Update from 2017 This man still lives in some of Chernobyl Ghost Town. He is last inhabitant of town where 20.000+ lived in 1986. The rest of people you see on photos no longer live.)

Each of those people were the last ones living in their places, and none of them would have ever believed that their town would die with them. They all told me the government failed them. I personally think they were cheated by the greatest of all deceivers: hope. It was hope that enticed them to wait for better times in their towns. I believe hope deceives more men than governments do.

Four Seasons2010 Chernobyl photoalbum