Back Under

Continuing the theme of the previous post, these are more photos from the Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl featuring stunning overgrowth of the last three decades.   This last rooftop shot really shows that “drowned’ quality of many of the buildings. Our guide had told us that winter can be a better time to visit, as … Continue reading Back Under

Submergence

Abandoned places get overgrown; the town of Pripyat is no exception. But there is simply more here, a case where a quantitative difference leads to a qualitative one. When hundreds of square miles are left untended, the result is that these once-inhabited areas don’t just feel overgrown, they feel submerged. The place where I felt … Continue reading Submergence

Where Words Fail

I have, as of this writing, been doing urban exploration for a decade. I have traveled across the American rust belt and beyond specifically to photograph the old, the decayed, and the abandoned. I have also felt, in recent years, that I have been pursuing diminishing returns; after a while, each ruined building begins to … Continue reading Where Words Fail

Subterranean Pastoral

There runs, under Kiev, a vast network of tunnels. Built over a century ago, they provide water drainage for this hilly city and thus protect against landslides. It isn’t entirely illegal to enter them, but neither is it quite legal. It is, as the guide intones before guiding you down through a manhole at the … Continue reading Subterranean Pastoral

The Maidan

Three years ago, a wave of protests against a corrupt government washed across Ukraine. The epicenter of the movement was Kiev’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square. (A good summation of those events can be found on Wikipedia.) When the dust had settled, the president had fled the country and pro-democracy activists had gained the upper … Continue reading The Maidan