It hasn’t been too many years since tour groups first started venturing into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone — which, it turns out, is a lot safer than it sounds, provided you follow certain safety precautions. (Something we’re all a lot more familiar with now.)
Journalist Darmon Richter covered the phenomenon in his recent book Chernobyl: A Stalkers’ Guide. The excerpt finds Richter in the town of Hubyn, on the edge of the Exclusion Zone. The scene includes a relatively diverse group of partygoers, drinks dubbed the “Black Stalker” and an atmosphere that, location aside, seems relatively similar to countless other raves across the world.
Richter spoke with one DJ who offered a relatively even-keeled take on the phenomenon. “It’s like the Kyiv rave scene, taking over the Zone. I thought it was strange at first, when they asked me to play here,” the DJ recalled. “But then I thought, why not? Chernobyl is ours, it’s our history. I think it’s good to bring life back here, to express new emotions in this place.”
Even Nastia used Chernobyl for her second episode of Scary Beautiful. The DJ along her team visited the haunting area of Chernobyl in Ukraine – specifically the Chernobyl-2 facility, where the over-the-horizon radar station ‘Duga’.
The Soviet over-the-horizon radar station “Duga” located at the Chernobyl-2 which is not far from Pryp’yat facility is one of three comparable stations that survived to this day. The obvious reason for the aforementioned was the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant – the destruction of the reactor of the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, located near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine.
Vice explored a rave at this location. Valeriy Korshunov, a multimedia artist from Kiev, is running his sound checks on Artefact, the ‘digital sculpture’ we are about to be treated to in the midst of Chernobyl’s Alienation Zone.
Svitlana Korshunov, curator of Artefact, told Vice: “Welcome to the Exclusion Zone. For all people, the world knew this place for tragedy. But we have made Chernobyl less harmful for the environment. We are safe. We have come here to change the history of Chernobyl.”
“One of the main goals of the activation of Artefact in Pripyat is to think about how information can be manipulated, hidden or distorted,” Korshunov says. “Because this can have the most terrible consequences.”
Would you dare to rave in Chernobyl?
Featured image via VICE