The opening for Gerd’s exhibit, “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” at the ROSPHOTO State Photo Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, was an overwhelming success. The exhibition features more than 100 photographs from his coverage of the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster. The museum is blown away by the response from the Russian media—from television, radio and newspaper interviews, such as the one here, to countless online articles. The exhibit coincides with renewed interest in the disaster due to the HBO miniseries, “Chernobyl.”

“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” is on display at the ROSPHOTO State Photo Museum until September 22.

Holiday Flash Sale

November 27, 2018

Starting November 27, signed prints of the image above are available (at $100 plus shipping) in Gerd Ludwig’s Instagram flash sale for 10 days only. It is the second of two photographs in this spontaneous Holiday print sale.

“Silent Nursery”. Dolls and shreds of mattresses litter the floor of an abandoned kindergarten in Pripyat inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine.

On April 26, 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant blew up after operators botched a safety test. While the radioactive fallout started to spread over tens of thousands of square kilometers, on the day of the disaster, children – oblivious to the nuclear catastrophe just 3km away – napped in their cods and played on the floors in this kindergarten of Pripyat, the reactor’s company town. It took the authorities 36 hours to admit to the severity of the accident. Only then the children were hastily evacuated and had to leave everything behind – even their treasured dolls and toys.

The photograph was shot on assignment for National Geographic Magazine in 2005 and is a key image of my ongoing Chernobyl project. It was also published in my trilingual photo book “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” (essay by Mikhail Gorbachev).

For this flash sale the photograph is printed on an archival 8.5×11 inch Legacy Platine paper with an actual image size of 6×9 inch. It is signed with an archival marker on the front border. Large limited edition prints of this image are in several private collections.

The flash sale ends on December 6th. All prints are shipped via USPS priority mail.

You can order a print by going to my Instagram @gerdludwig and follow the link in the bio or you can purchase one here.

Solar Park for Chernobyl

July 20, 2017

Last week, Ukraine’s minister of ecology, Ostap Semerak, announced that his country is talking to a multinational energy company about constructing a giant solar park inside the contaminated uninhabited Exclusion Zone around the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Of all man-made environmental catastrophes in human history, Chernobyl is considered to have caused the most lasting impact.

Since my first visit in 1993, I have been documenting the aftermath of the accident in dramatic photographs – the failed reactor, the contamination to the land, and the countless victims in the fallout regions, leading to my book and iPad app ‘The Long Shadow of Chernobyl’. Ignoring radiation levels, a few hundred elderly people have returned to their homes. At first Ukrainian officials discouraged them, but they soon turned a blind eye and are even providing them with regular medical check-ups.

A massive cyber attack that has brought several businesses to a close in Ukraine, Russia, and other countries throughout Europe, has also affected operations at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant the New York Times, Reuters and Verge reported. The state agency that oversees the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone announced in a statement “Due to the temporary disconnection of Windows systems, radiation monitoring of the industrial site is being carried out manually.”

In 1986, the world worst nuclear accident to date caused an explosion and a fire that burned for 10 days. The radioactive fallout spread over tens of thousands of square kilometers and drove more than a quarter of a million people permanently from their homes. Reputable environmental organizations estimate that more than 100 000 people have already died as a result of the accident.

31 years ago on April 26, 1986 at 1:23 am, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant blew up after operators botched a safety test, triggering an explosion and a fire that burned for 10 days.

Recently, several European media outlets reported that one third of all wild boars hunted in countries in the path of the nuclear fallout (such as the Czech Republic and Germany) still contain such high levels of radiation (Cesium-137) that their meat is not save for consumption. Read more here

During my first visit to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, in the early 1990’s, I photographed scientists from the Department of Ecological Botany at the Swedish University in Uppsala as they worked on a study of tissue radioactivity in animals in the Chernobyl Zone. Their research concentrated on the area’s wild boar and roe deer. After the animals’ dissection, then performed in a makeshift lab in a former kindergarten kitchen, their stomach contents were analyzed (photograph above).

Fukushima Anniversary

March 10, 2017

The British news publication ‘The Independent’ recently reported that the robots sent into Fukushima for cleanup are “dying” at a rate five times higher than expected. Although designed to survive in highly contaminated areas, large amounts of radioactive material are eating away at the robots wiring – rendering them useless. Read the full article here.

Six years ago, on March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by one of the most severe earthquakes in recorded history. In the subsequent tsunami, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered serious damage that led to several meltdowns in the nuclear reactor releasing large amounts of radioactive materials. It was the largest nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

“The news of the robots’ malfunction reminded me of the several times I went into the ill-fated Chernobyl reactor – deeper than any Western still photographer. I had described the harrowing experience in a Proof post on National Geographic a couple of years ago,” says Gerd Ludwig.

See the full Proof post here.

His 20 years covering the aftermath of the Chernobyl catastrophe resulted in the book and iPad App “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl”. The app is available from the iTunes store, see it here.

To order a signed copy of his award-winning book, “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl,” click here.

You can also follow Gerd on IG @gerdludwig, where he quite frequently publishes images from his forays into Chernobyl.