Child of Chernobly Cyanotype Verena Prenner.jpg

Austria 2009, 2019 

Collage - Cyanotype

On the 26th of April 1986 it seemed like to be a normal day. 1000 km away, however, a

disaster of an unbelievable proportion happened, the reactor 3 in the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Chernobyl exploded. The world was left in ignorance.

The children, including us, continued to play happily in the garden and in the sandpit where we baked our sand cakes.

Only days later, when the rather rare easterly wind and rain had already carried the radioactive cloud to Austria and other parts of Europe the public was informed about an incident.

The children were given iodine tablets in kindergarten and in schools to protect their thyroid glands, but according to doctors it was already too late by then. And if iodine is given after the radiation has already affected the body it does the opposite - it amplifies the negative effects of the radioactive radiation. 

Many years later there was an accumulation of thyroid diseases, from benign growths to malignant cancers in regions in Austria that were particularly affected, especially among young women.