CHORNOBYL DISASTER ANNIVERSARY

ATOMIC ART: Chornobyl memorial mural honours Ukrainian photo journalist who fought to tell world of tragedy

Australian artist and Ukrainian street art curator combine to pay tribute to Ukrainian photo journalist Igor Kostin's quest to tell the world the truth about the Chornobyl disaster and its legacy in Ukraine

ATOMIC ART: Chornobyl memorial mural honours Ukrainian photo journalist who fought to tell world of tragedy
Australian Street artist Guido van Helten's Chornobyl mural is a tribute to the work of Ukrainian photo journalist and Chornobyl tragedy chronicler Igor Kostin
Business Ukraine magazine
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 12:33

As part of anniversary events to mark 30 years since the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, Australian Street artist Guido van Helten and Ukrainian arts coordinator and filmmaker Geo Leros have collaborated to create the first street art mural project inside the Chornobyl zone.

Working in the photorealistic style and painting inside the unfinished reactor 5 at the Chornobyl power plant, Guido van Helten created an artwork based on a photograph taken at the time of the disaster in 1986 by renowned Ukrainian photojournalist and chronicler of the Chornobyl tragedy Igor Kostin.

Guido van Helten said he chose to recreate the work of Igor Kostin in the mural as a tribute to the Ukrainian journalist's efforts to document the tragedy and its aftermath. Kostin sacrificed his health in order to tell the story of Chornobyl to the world. He passed away in 2015. 

"I wanted to create a work that honoured the sacrifices Igor Kostin made in order to document this disaster. I also wanted this work to underline the importance of photo journalism as a medium for sharing important information with the world," commented the artist.  

Ukraine's Chornobyl ('Chernobyl' in Russian) was the scene of the world's worst atomic energy disaster in April 1986. The tragedy was exasperated by the initial refusal of the Soviet authorities to acknowledge the catastrophe or warn the population about the scale of the danger they faced. Instead, traditional May Day public holiday parades took place in nearby Kyiv and other Soviet cities, while senior Communist Party members quietly evacuated their own children to safer locations on the Black Sea.

The Kremlin's handling of the Chornobyl tragedy is widely regarded as one of the key events leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It shattered faith in the Soviet state and led to widespread public fury. Independent Ukraine continues to live with the legacy of the disaster. Meanwhile, the site has become a ghoulist tourist attraction and remains a testament to Soviet incompetence and inhumanity. 

 

The Chornobyl mural is part of the ArtUnitedUs project, a global street art initiative centred on Ukraine aiming to promote global peace and international understanding. For further information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Business ukraine current issue

Business Ukraine magazine

Business ukraine reader survey

Which Ukrainian city is best placed to develop as an international tourism destination?
Which Ukrainian city is best placed to develop as an international tourism destination?
You must select at least one item to vote!

Social media