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Since the first atomic bomb was dropped, humankind has been haunted by the idea of nuclear apocalypse. That nightmare almost became reality in 1986, when an accident at the USSR's Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant triggered the world's worst radiological crisis. The events of that night are well documented - but history didn't stop there. Chernobyl, as a place, remains very much alive today. In Chernobyl: A Stalkers' Guide, researcher Darmon Richter journeys into the contemporary Exclusion Zone, venturing deeper than any previously published account. While thousands of foreign visitors congregate around a handful of curated sites, beyond the tourist hotspots lies a wild and mysterious land the size of a small country. In the forests of Chernobyl, historic village settlements and Soviet-era utopianism have lain abandoned since the time of the disaster - overshadowed by vast, unearthly mega-structures designed to win the Cold War. Richter combines photographs of discoveries made during his numerous visits to the Zone with the voices of those who witnessed history - engineers, scientists, police and evacuees. He explores evacuated regions in both Ukraine and Belarus, finding forgotten ghost towns and Soviet monuments lost deep in irradiated forests. He gains exclusive access inside the most secure areas of the power plant itself, and joins the 'stalkers' of Chernobyl as he sets out on a high-stakes illegal hike to the heart of the Exclusion Zone.

 

Details

ISBN: 9781916218420
Audience: General
Format: Hardback
Number of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 24 Sep 2020
Publisher: FUEL Publishing
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 16(H) x 20(L)
Weight (gm): 720

 

Reviews

An eerie record of disaster, absence, the power of nature and frozen time.--Edwin Heathcote "Financial Times"
The latest in a continuing series about retro Soviet architecture and industrial design goes deep into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the nuclear power plant itself. Rare and exclusive photographs of the desolate site and ghostly abandoned cities, plus interviews with survivors, balance curiosity with solemnity.--Nathalie Atkinson "Globe and Mail"
In Chernobyl: A Stalkers' Guide, Darmon Richter--an expert in Soviet architecture who has spent years photographing and gathering information about the buildings and monuments of the former USSR--tells the amazing story of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from the inside.Combining his evocative imagery with a series of acute and well-researched essays, Richter takes us beyond the now-familiar iconography of the abandoned city of Pripyat, into untracked reaches of the Zone--and inside the abandoned power plant itself--to unravel the myths of Chernobyl and reveal rarely-seen glimpses of the radioactive lost world and the men and women who live and work there.'--Adam Higginbotham "author of Midnight in Chernobyl"
Richter's evocative, theoretically astute, and beautifully illustrated account of The Zone is drawn from a rich wellspring of passion and adventure. The depth of historical research, backed up by on-the-ground experience, makes A Stalkers' Guide a one-of-a-kind contribution to the Chernobyl archive. No other author has achieved such a comprehensive investigation of the Exclusion Zone--Bradley Garrett "author of Explore Everything and Bunker"
The book design lives up to the ambitions of the original film. Histories and topographies I thought I knew revealed from another angle. It's good to have the script and the images, and the book-smell the film can't deliver--Ian Sinclair "author of The Last London"
In Chernobyl: A Stalkers' Guide, Richter shares glimpses of the incredible access he had to a site that continues to send chills down the spine of people around the world.--Hrag Vartanian "Hyperallergic"

 

Author Biography

Darmon Richter is a British researcher with a particular fascination for the ideological art and architecture of communist regimes. Born in Oxford, he was studying to be a psychotherapist when a bad case of wanderlust lured him away to the unknown. He backpacked from China to Haiti before settling in Eastern Europe, where he was mesmerised by the striking visual contradiction presented by communist-era buildings and memorials: bold, heroic, utopian designs, often ruined and forgotten, like abandoned blueprints for a future that never arrived. Richter committed himself to uncovering the history of these places. Today he leads tours to communist heritage sites in nine countries and one post-Soviet conflict zone, in addition to working with various local conservation projects. Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell have been publishing critically acclaimed books on Soviet culture since 2004 with their Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia. More recent titles include Godless Utopia, Spomenik Monument Database and Soviet Bus Stops.
Chernobyl: A Stalkers' Guide
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