Life has indeed survived – and in fact thrived – in the Chernobyl area. Wolves, fox, wild boar and other animals are multiplying and taking back what other aspects of nature are as well. Humans can not survive well in the area surrounding Chernobyl. 3,500 residents refused to leave in 1986 or returned to live in the area in that year and today only 400 remain alive.
What strikes me most about this website are not these facinating facts, but the very human photos and accounts of this woman’s journeys. Her first language is obviously not English, but she is able to bring forth very strong emotions with her words. Her photos are even more powerful, capturing so much about this place filled with lives abandoned or ruined.
I highly recommend you take the journey this website offers. It’s profoundly moving and informative. I’d dare say it’s the most exciting website I have visited in the past year. It creates an atmosphere that doesn’t need the enhancement of a fancy layout or short-term gimmick to make it memorable. Its content will draw you in and have a far greater impact than most sites can offer.
While reading this site, I put on Strawberry’s “Kiev Trains”, a song about Chernobyl. Knowing the inspirations and histories behind the songs Deidre Smith (Strawberry, Brokehearts, Valley of the Giants, and The Squarewaves’ principle songwriter) has written adds an immense amount of understanding and enjoyment of her music for me. *(This song, however, was written by Scott, who let me know this. I should have checked the liner notes so I’d have known that. He said of the song, “There was an article in the newspaper describing cleanup after the accident. For that job workers were given subway tokens as compensation. This seemed bizarre and symptomatic of thoughtless governmental behaviour.”)* Especially having read this personal and informative account of Ghost Town, “Kiev Trains” stands as one of my all time favourite songs. I’m increasingly looking forward to hearing new material from The Squarewaves.