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Festival 86

Photographer: Roman Pilipey


Slavutich is the youngest city in Ukraine and was purpose-built in the middle of pinewoods, between the Desna and Dnipro rivers, for the evacuated personnel of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and their families after the 1986 disaster that occurred near the city of Pripyat. Slavutich is located some 50 km from Chernobyl and 190 km north of Kiev.


Construction of the town began in December 1986. On 26 March 1988, the first accommodation order was commissioned. Slavutich was built by architects and builders from eight then Soviet Republics - Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia and Ukraine - thus the national traits are seen in every block.


Slavutich is a town for youth, a space for secure, unhurried development with 25 thousand citizens. Everything one might need for living is within walking distance – this is the way the town was planned: new buildings in 13 housing blocks, stores, entertainment venues, schools and even a large art school in the main square.


Every year since 2014 the city has held the 'Festival 86' of film and urbanism. During the event, many people from all over Ukraine and other countries visit to see movies, exhibitions, to dance or to do yoga and at the same time to discover the diverse architecture of Slavutich.


'Festival 86' aims to address energy issues such as alternative energy sources and energy security through film screenings as well as lectures and workshops on urban living. 30 years after Chernobyl, people are finding new and innovative ways to remember the disaster.


Construction works are currently under way for a new protective shelter to be mounted over the remains of the nuclear reactor Unit 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, saving the world from the radiation over the next one hundred years. But for locals, this is a big issue as they think once the protective shelter is mounted, it might cause redundancy for many of those who work at the plant and in related spheres. They fear for the future of Slavutich.