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Chernobyl: 20 Years Later
||Photo exhibition "The Pain Abates Slowly"|
Photo exhibition "The Pain Abates Slowly"
On 7-30 April
2006, the National Arts Gallery will play host to an artistic-documentary photo
exhibition “The Pain Abates Slowly” on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
The photo exhibition is aimed at conveying the hardness and tragedy of the time which brought numerous victims and heavy losses to Belarus, today’s time which slowly heals the wounds and assuages the pain, the time for meditation and warning which gives hope on the top of everything. The pictures of the exhibition do not just ascertain personal tragedies, they are an attempt to notice the dangerous reality behind these tragedies: the Chernobyl is alive and continues to be unsafe.
The photo exposition contains 40-50 black-and-white pictures of the size 30x45 cm reflecting sick children (children are a symbol of future). These kids are considered invalids of Chernobyl. The author took the pictures at different times with a 10-15 year interval. First, when the kids were small and “tied” to the oncology beds. Then the same children who are already healthy and almost adults living far from the dangerous border. These “double” photo portraits convey the movement of the time. They contain the main idea of the exhibition: the wounds heals, the pain abates, the life goes on. The photos depicting the eternal union of mother and child are particularly notable in the exposition. One cannot help admiring mother’s courage, insurmountable will to protect her child. The majority of the exhibited pictures were taken at the National children’s scientific research oncology and hematology center, where struggle for child’s life continues every minute. This struggle would be hopeless without the mother’s care.
The catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear plant is a reference point for the author’s chronicle. He has in his collection photos of the 30-kilometer zone and even of the reactor-sarcophagus itself. However, the abandoned Chernobyl territory with its plundered villages and burned huts is not at the center of the Chernobyl disaster today. The tragedy is to be found in people’s broken fates. That is why the pictures were taken at hospitals and medical centers for children sick with cancer diseases, heart and blood system problems who are recognized by the state as the most terrible consequences of Chernobyl. Many victims have passed away. But many children recover. Their reflection by the author is aimed at proving that although Belarus has a hard Chernobyl destiny, its people’s strong will and irresistible wish for life are capable of overcoming it.
The project’s author – Anatoly Klyashchuk
Belarus Ministry of Culture
Belarus Ministry of Information
Committee on the Problems of the Consequences of the Catastrophe
at the Chernobyl
United Nations Office in Belarus