‘Exposure‘ by Kazuma Obara – abstract images telling the story of people who live with invisible health problems following the sudden release of atomic energy caused by the Chernobyl explosion (April 1986). Diseases, still doctors can’t explain and cure.
“The series is about the life of Mariya. She was born 5 months after the accident happened, in Kiev, which is located 100 km south of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Since her early age she was constantly sick and spent many years in hospital without receiving a diagnosis. Growing up other symptoms appeared like severe fatigue, insomnia, panic attacks, her hair began to fall out … Following doctors’ advice she removed thyroid gland. Currently she has taken around 10 to 20 pills every day to maintain her hormone balance and will continue to take them until she will die. A harsh life for a 30 years old girl.”
“All pictures were taken by old Ukrainian colour negative films (expired day of films are 1991 and 1992) and exposed. While my film was only recently ‘exposed’ in the conventional sense, it seems to be receiving exposure to radiation from the nuclear accident for the past years. Just like Mariya, who had been exposed before birth, before visibility, and before volition, my use of this film, with its unruly and visually confusing character refuses the apparent instantaneity of the photographic image, instead calling the viewer to consider that our present lives bear the traces of a life-long and prenatal exposure to the world.”
To learn more about the artist’s thoughts behind the series watch this video.
The series is available as a self-published photo book.