EMIN ALTAN / CHERNOBYL The Empire Project, Kadıköy
25 Nov - 16 Dec 2023

Beginning in 2015, the Chernobyl adventure was not only an important component of the
Chaosmos project, but also opened up a space for a new project to develop.
Pripyat was fascinating. The city was deserted; time seemed to have frozen. The wildness of
nature was slowly reclaiming what it had formerly lent to people; a forest surrounded the
city. Trees were growing inside buildings. Schools, hospitals, apartments, and gyms were all
The sarcophagus, which harbored a legend, was visible from afar with all its magnificence.

The villages that were inaccessible for tourists who constantly took selfies were even more
impressive. Many of them were uninhabited, essentially absorbed by the jungle. There were
also villages with three to five residents-either new settlers or people who had returned.
Women, most of whom were over eighty years old, lived here in peace. When they died,
their homes were sealed shut and pillaged soon after, like all the other houses.
The branches drooped to the ground with the weight of the fruits they bore, and swayed
along with the blowing wind as the Przewalski horses watched their intruders from afar.
Dust, humidity and mould! Photographs of children and families who once lived here. Altan
spent days with the photo albums he found in schools, official buildings, village houses and
drawers. He could touch the most direct traces of the people who once lived here and
witness their most special moments. It was as if the people wanted to make their voices
heard from the past to the present.
The book Chernobyl/Çernobil brings together the photo series Altan produced between
2015 and 2020 and the articles written by Emin Altan, Günther Anders, Slavoj Zizek, Pınar
Demircan, Mehmet Özdağ, A. Öner Kurt and Gülçin Yapıcı, Foti Benlisoy, Osman Özarslan,
Eda Sezgin, Cemil Aksu, Özgür Gürbüz, Martin Cohen, Michael Löwy, which examine the
aspects of the nuclear disaster from different perspectives.
The book was designed by Esen Karol and texts edited by Cemil Aksu. Published in 2023 in
English by Manifold and in Turkish by Ceylan Publications from the series of Polen Ecology
Books, the book deals with the events with both photographs and articles, questions the
actuality of the nuclear disaster, warns and calls for duty.