Inside the Belarusian Institutions for Chernobyl Radiation Victims

By Tom Usher, Photos: ​Jadwiga Bronte: For More Info, Go Here…

Photographer Jadwiga Bronte visited the “internats” of Belarus—institutions that are part asylum, part orphanage, and part hospice—for those affected by the fallout of the Chernobyl disaster 30 years ago.

The Chernobyl disaster took place 30 years ago this April, but its effects are still being felt. The meltdown of the nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine thrust a huge amount of radioactive particles into the Earth’s atmosphere, contaminating much of the surrounding area, with neighboring Belarus taking 70 percent of the fallout.

In her photo series “The Invisible People of Belarus,” photographer Jadwiga Bronte explored the effects of the Chernobyl disaster on the people of Belarus, specifically those living in governmental institutions called “internats.” These institutions are part asylum, part orphanage, and part hospice, where thousands of Belarusians spend their lives, hidden from public view, often “handed over” to the government by relatives soon after birth.

I spoke to Jadwiga about her project.

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