Chernobyl, April 26th 1986. It was Saturday morning when an explosion occurred during a routine experiment taking place on the 4th reactor of the nuclear plant. Right after, a second explosion, the roof of the building gets destroyed, flames break out and the radioactive core elements are channeled uncontrollably into the environment. The largest nuclear accident in history was now a fact. Dozens of people die immediately and hundreds get sick. The radioactivity, that has been spread, makes entire areas uninhabitable, and entire villages are buried under the soil.
Twenty-nine years after the disaster we head into the dead zone with a radius of 30 km around the nuclear plant. As we approach we find fewer cars, the human presence is reduced and culture, in the sense that we know it, ceases to apply. At the first checkpoint two large signs are there to remind you where you are, ” Caution, radioactive area, restricted area, Chernobyl zone ”. The zone is like being another country, to its own standards and a separate passport control.