Friday, April 9, 2010

The Graffiti of Pripyat

All of the images shown above can be found scattered around the city of Priypyat. Most Russian graffiti is characterized by bright colors and cheerful, if often lewd, images. The graffiti of Pripyat on the other hand, is haunted by ghostly black and white figures, many of whom are in obvious pain.

The artists say their pictures symbolize the loss of innocence.

Most feature children, or at least the shadows they left behind, doing things like crying or playing or screaming. Others show the shadows of looters that ransacked the city after it was abandoned. Why was Pripyat abandoned?

Prior to April 26, 1986 it was a healthy, if not thriving, industrial city. It was home to the families who got their livelihood from the Chernobyl power plant, mothers and fathers and children. Lots of children.

There are no children in Pripyat anymore. Most left after the reactors malfunctioned. Some died.

It's their ghosts that haunt the walls of the city.

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