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Two CDs and a 90 page hardback book with photos, info and interviews from audio documenter and experimenter Peter Cusak, recording in Chernobyl, The Caspian Oilfields, and various dangerous locations in the UK. The Chernobyl disaster of 26th April 1986, was the realisation of all our fears of the nuclear industry, leading many countries to suspend their nuclear power programmes. Two and a half decades later, nuclear power is again reasserting itself, presented by governments and the industry as a ‘saviour strategy’—a response to the far more serious threats of carbon emissions and climate change. We all face a proliferating nuclear future. What insights can Chernobyl and its aftermath offer in this new situation? What has happened to the environment, nature, the regions and the people directly affected by the disaster in the twenty five years since?
On two trips to Chernobyl in May 2006 and July 2007, I made many location recordings in and around the ‘exclusion zone’ in Ukraine. These include sounds of wildlife, radiometer bleeps, eerie rooms in the ghost town of Pripyat, work that still goes on around the nuclear reactors, and songs and poems of the traditional people of the affected area. Their stories are in many respects the least known of the disaster.
The CD contains recordings of the sounds of work, electricity and radiometers; the abandoned town of Pripyat: Samosel villages; Chernobyl’s abundant wildlife; poems and songs by Chernobyl evacuees. Detailed track information, photos, translations from the Ukrainian of the poems, songs and conversations, plus an essay of thoughts and observations are in the accompanying book.