Chernobyl Child: Sergei Kravchenko, aged 14
By John Varoli
In the twenty years since Chernobyl exploded and gave the world yet another synonym for destruction, a generation of children has grown up with no memory of the event. Like everyone in his class in the village of Novy Bobovichi, Sergei Kravchenko, aged 14, knows only what he hears from his parents and other adults.
A photo by young photographer Anton Gordeichik of Belarus, of a general secondary school. It was closed in 1987. More than 150 children once studied there. Anton was one of 12 young participants in a recent UNICEF-supported photographic workshop marking the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
From 2-7 March 2006, UNICEF held a photo workshop for children aged 12 to 17 from each of the three countries hardest hit by the disaster: Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Renowned photographer Giacomo Pirozzi worked with the 12 children – four from each country – who were all from Chernobyl-affected families. After an introduction to photographic techniques, the children went on location in Belarus to capture images of life after Chernobyl. Those from the Russian Federation and Ukraine subsequently went on location in their own countries. The photos taken by the children form an exhibition for the International Conference on Chernobyl in Belarus, April 19-21 and will feature as a photo essay on the UNICEF website for CEE/CIS
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