Lychee One – 38-50 Pritchard’s Road London E2 9BJ GB
Free, but registration is required. Book your tickets here.
Panel discussion and screening of the film Pripyat: City of the Future by artist and filmmaker David Bickerstaff and poet Mario Petrucci. This event is coinciding with the exhibition “City of the Future” curated by Azadeh Fatehrad at Lychee One gallery between 20 – 27 February.
Pripyat: City of the Future
HD video | 16:9 | 10 minutes
While filming in the Chernobyl restricted zone for the arts documentary Heavy Water: a Film for Chernobyl, I was particularly moved by my time in the ghost city of Pripyat and decided to make a short film in response.
In Soviet Ukraine, Pripyat was known as the ‘City of the Future’. Built in 1970 for the workers at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, it had beautiful new housing, modern facilities and a vibrant, young community. Then on April 26th, 1986, reactor four at Chernobyl explodes, sending an enormous radioactive cloud over Northern Ukraine and neighboring Belarus. The danger is kept a secret from the population of Pripyat who go about their business as usual, three kilometres away. Children play, lovers get married, shops are trading and the residents marvel at the spectacular fire raging at the reactor. After three days, an area the size of England becomes contaminated with radioactive dust.
The 50,000 inhabitants of Pripyat are eventually evacuated over the course of a single day. With the population displaced, forgotten and damaged, Pripyat still remains empty. This film experiments with the documentary format by using generated sound, archive imagery and footage from Pripyat as it stands today – a ghostly monument to the devastation caused by nuclear accidents and the loss of a promised future.
Poet, ecologist and physicist is widely renowned for combining innovation and versatility with a profoundly human aspect. The only poet to have been in residence at the Imperial War Museum and with BBC Radio 3, he is a Bridport winner, a prizewinner in the National Poetry Competition, four times winner of the London Writers competition, inaugural pamphlet selector for the PBS, and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. His Arvon-winning Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl (Enitharmon, 2004) was the basis for an internationally acclaimed film (Seventh Art
Productions). Described as “Heartfelt, ambitious and alive” (Daily Telegraph), Heavy Waterwas placed among the top five poetry collections of 2004 by Poetry London. “One of best poets of our times” (Literati), Petrucci has been credited with creating “Poetry on a geological scale… a new track for poets of witness” (Verse). He was shortlisted for the 2012 Ted Hughes award. www.mariopetrucci.com
Born in Australia, David Bickerstaff is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works in London. He has a degree in fine art (painting), and started Atomictv in 1997 to develop projects that use time based media on new digital platforms for artistic output. He has developed and produced many projects that involve collaborations with a variety of creative people from different disciplines. These have included immersive video installations, documentaries, multimedia commissions, sound based projects and online works.
David’s documentary and artist work such as Altenberg: The Little Pocket Mirror, Tales from the Bridge, Dreamscape, Narrenturm, Hygieia, Making War Horse, Pripyat: City of the Futureand the award winning Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl have been broadcast in Britain and shown in many international festivals, with screenings at the Freud Museum London, Wellcome Collection, onedotzero, Tate Modern, Festival International du Film sur L’Art, Montreal, Sheffield Doc Fest and the Documentary Fortnight at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Recent projects include Everything Flows: a series of short artist documentaries for Film and Video Umbrella, co-curation and video installations for Thinking With The Body at the Wellcome Collection and Girl with a Pearl Earring: And other treasures of from the Mauritshuis, a feature film due for cinema release in 2015 for the Exhibition On Screen series. www.atomictv.com