After the accident at the Chernobyl NPP, people from neighboring settlements were evacuated, the area around the nuclear power plant became abandoned. However, a new settlement appeared to replace them – mainly for those who occupied themselves with work at the abandoned NPP. Employment in Slavutich was forming around Chernobyl. Now the new protective structure over the NPP sarcophagus is complete and nuclear wastes do not get into local water sources anymore.
About 6000 people have been spending the recent six years there to build a new protective structure which represents a huge dome 120 meters high over the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl NPP. Now nobody has to worry about the future of the environment in the region. But the same cannot be said about the future of Slavutich…
A Swedish photographer Nils Akerman spent four years watching the life of the a young generation of citizens in Slavutich. From restless party-goers and drug users they turned into hard workers who earn daily bread for their families and eliminate the consequences of the most terrible catastrophe in the modern history.
When Nils came there he could not imagine that this generation of people would ever take responsibility for the rescue of ecology. He was watching the life of the girl named Yulia who liked noisy parties with her friends. Some photos of Nils show that those revelry parties had a lot of alcohol and drugs.
They woke up under the piles of empty bottles and cans.
As the time went, those young people were getting older, they began working with other citizens of Slavutich, helping them to build the protective structure and getting used to the adult life.
They began forming couples, flirt was turning into serious relationships.
Yulia got married too but finally divorced not long before the departue of Nils. According tothe photographer, it was interesting to watch the life circle of those people.
Now when the protective structure is complete, about 3500 people are losing their jobs. The future of the small city populated with 25000 citizens seems to be vague.
Nowadays many events related to Ukraine seem to be negative. But this story, as viewed by Nils, is positive. Many of these people were accountants, journalists, had other professions… The future of Slavutich does not seem optimistic, but its citizens will probably find themselves.
It’s quite symbolic that they live to correct the mistakes of their parents – all this at the time of the revolution. Maybe through their work these young people will make another Ukraine – more ambitious and safe one.