Portfolios > Chernobyl and Pripyat

3 shadows and graffiti
3 shadows and graffiti
digital
2008

"Shadow people" are painted on several buildings. These 3 appear on the outside wall of the Hotel Polissiya. A friend informed me that these paintings are a recent addition to Pripyat. It is believed that they were made by visitors to the zone who created them illegally and without permission.
Apparently the former residents of Pripyat are not happy about these paintings. They view them as graffiti, something which would have never been tolerated before the disaster. They were proud of their home town of Pripyat. I can see why.
I have mixed feelings about these "shadow people" and their origin. I feel like they somehow belong here, and their presence speaks volumes about what happened here. But I also respect that the former residents feel somehow violated by them. It seems to me, however, that of all the violations these people endured these paintings are the least offensive. I see the figures as a monument to those who's lives here were relegated to shadows and forgotten belongings.
In the foreground on another wall, 3 people had written their names in pencil, also to mark their presence here in 2005. Thankfully, these marks will likely quickly disappear.