A United Nations 2005 report estimated that around 4,000 people will die in the next years from diseases linked to the radiation released in the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster back in April 26, 1986. It is considered the worst nuclear accident in history, as directly related to the deaths caused by the explosion and to the costs in containment operation and cleaning of radioactive waste, and one of the only two events classified with the maximum level (7), together with Fukushima disaster. Despite these facts the poverty and isolation to which the whole region was condemned after that incident remain the two key problems faced by its inhabitants.
The Blue Summer project was created in 2008 to welcome children and teenagers aged 6-16, providing them a month of summer holidays in Portugal, hosted by a local family. Its purpose is to open their horizons by putting them in contact with new experiences, but also with a healthy environment and away from radiation.
This documentary work follows fragments of some of these children daily life in their home country back in Ukraine, where they live with their families in the Chernobyl region, and then in several regions of Portugal, to where they traveled during their Summer holidays to stay with a host family.
2014 – 2016
This series follows fragments of day-to-day life of Mark, Kateryna, Karolina, Sergii, Bogdan, Artem, Arkadiy, Angelina, Bogdan, Boginskyy and Alina back in the Chernobyl region and then in several regions of Portugal, to where they traveled to spend a month of their Summer holidays with a Portuguese host family.
This set of diptychs tries, in a simple way, to put these two realities side by side. Loved from both sides, these children travel every year and live for just over a month with another family, in a country that is not their own and in a different context.
An interesting journey to observe what bounds these diptychs together and what sets them apart.