Lausanne: Les Editions Noirs sur Blanc, 2016.
Photographs by Niels Ackermann; Foreword by Andrey Kurkov; Text by Gaetan Vannay.
Slavutych is the youngest town in Ukraine. Located fifty kilometers from Chernobyl, it was built immediately after the nuclear disaster of 1986 in order to house workers sent in to clean up the site. Photographer Niels Ackermann made numerous trips to the town between 2012 and 2015 to capture the life of their children, young people full of hopes and dreams. Remarkable in its closeness to its subject, his chronicle shows the lives of the young Yulia and her friends, from their drunken nights to their journeys to the reactor checkpoint, their flings, flirts, and divorces, and the dreams despoiled by adult life. All beneath the gaze of the White Angel, the town’s symbol.
On the White Angel, from a poem and now a statue that rests in the town square, Vannay writes: “The political and religious authorities of Slavutych may have hoped that this protective figure rising over the square would help the town move on to the post-Chernobyl era, to envisage a future of prodigious and ambitious projects, to glimpse a renaissance of Slavutych before its death, to hope for a miracle for the children of the children of Slavutych. And find what Slavutych needs, something more than these young women who trudge vacantly across the square, trundling their stoller."Item #900951
6-1/2 x 9”, stiff pictorial wrappers, unpaginated, fully illustrated with full-page color photographs by Niels Ackermann, peppered with quotes from Yulia, and followed by a 22pp text by Kirkov and Vannay.