Time & Silence in Layers by Helen Mountaniol, Ukraine, Shortlist
While the world is dealing with present conflicts, one point on the planet stands in a great silence. Glancing at its shivering lonesome as a result of the Chernobyl Disaster, the town of Pripyat is not-suggesting what might happen once again but proving mother's nature unlimited ability to disarm every leading human chaotic results. Pripyat photographs series tells the story of a once beautiful town that was founded in 1970 as the ninth nuclear city of the soviet union, and had to evacuate its 50,000 inhabitants in within 36 hours after the accident. Indeed, the public building interior photographs reflects Pripyat's horrors; but there's also a catch for the town has become a subject for natures occupation, a reclaim. And so, starting from the yellow circles peeled behind the regretting gym hall walls, getting to the tango-dancing hospital lamps, to the never-finished broken-chess play, we find ourselves seeking for a decent inhale of oxygen (which we might, somehow, find while looking at the pile of gas masks shining below gravy books). Hold up to that feeling, because you might get a clue of what comes around while exposed the abandoned basketball court; Spoiler: nature waves are coming. I was born in Dnipropetrovsk, a city that was also affected due to the accident. Israeli nowadays, I tend to explore abandoned spots around the globe. Being a child at the age of ten when the explosion occurred, daughter of a Ukrainian family that was known for its doctors and granddaughter of a civil servant for the government I came back to my homeland to capture the story of Chernobyl Disaster. The series shows a modern fairytale you won't hear in the news; its fascinating point of view grips the lens from a wider scene, where Ukraine and Russia each and together has their conflicts, to a minimized spot; to a place where and here comes the spoiler answer, as the last photograph comes in the play trees grow through broken windows and grass pushes up through the cracks in dormant.