Chernobyl: A Stalkers' GuidePrevious project Next project
160x200 mm hardback
Published in 2020
In Chernobyl: A Stalkers’ Guide, researcher Darmon Richter journeys into the contemporary Exclusion Zone, venturing deeper than any previously published account. While thousands of foreign visitors congregate around a handful of curated sites, beyond the tourist hotspots lies a wild and mysterious land the size of a small country. In the forests of Chernobyl, historic village settlements and Soviet-era utopianism have lain abandoned since the time of the disaster – overshadowed by vast, unearthly mega-structures designed to win the Cold War.
Richter combines photographs of discoveries made during his numerous visits to the Zone with the voices of those who witnessed history – engineers, scientists, police and evacuees. He explores evacuated regions in both Ukraine and Belarus, finding forgotten ghost towns and Soviet monuments lost deep in irradiated forests. He gains exclusive access inside the most secure areas of the power plant itself, and joins the ‘stalkers’ of Chernobyl as he sets out on a high-stakes illegal hike to the heart of the Exclusion Zone.
‘An eerie record of disaster, absence, the power of nature and frozen time.‘
Edwin Heathcote, in the ‘Best Books of 2020‘, Financial Times
In Chernobyl: A Stalkers‘ Guide, Darmon Richter – an expert in Soviet architecture who has spent years photographing and gathering information about the buildings and monuments of the former USSR – tells the amazing story of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone from the inside.
Combining his evocative imagery with a series of acute and well-researched essays, Richter takes us beyond the now-familiar iconography of the abandoned city of Pripyat, into untracked reaches of the Zone – and inside the abandoned power plant itself – to unravel the myths of Chernobyl and reveal rarely-seen glimpses of the radioactive lost world and the men and women who live and work there.
Adam Higginbotham, author of Midnight in Chernobyl
Richter’s evocative, theoretically astute, and beautifully illustrated account of The Zone is drawn from a rich wellspring of passion and adventure. The depth of historical research, backed up by on-the-ground experience, makes A Stalkers’ Guide a one-of-a-kind contribution to the Chernobyl archive. No other author has achieved such a comprehensive investigation of the Exclusion Zone.
Bradley Garrett, author of Explore Everything and Bunker
Interview with Darmon Richter
Exploring Chernobyl‘s Imprint on Neighboring Belarus
Step inside the irradiated heart of the nuclear power plant
A new photo book offers a glimpse into the forgotten history of Chernobyl
Darmon Richter discusses his new book, ‘Chernobyl: A Stalkers‘ Guide‘, which takes a broader look at one of the world's most misunderstood regions.
Writer and photographer Darmon Richter’s new book Chernobyl: A Stalkers’ Guide represents a study of the contemporary Exclusion Zone not as a “dead zone”, but as a “new Eden populated by scientists, settlers and scrap-metal thieves”