CHERNOBYL, THE FORBIDDEN ZONE
The fourth reactor of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded at 01.23 in the
midnight of 26 April 1986. For Pripyat residents, the noise was only as loud as a stroke of a lightning far
away. The explosion wasn’t heard by the people who were sleeping. After getting to the fire in a small
scale, the firefighter teams got the situation under control without difficulty. However, when they thought
everything was over, they couldn’t believe their eyes. There was a huge hole in the roof of the 4th unit of
the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. They didn’t want to imagine what this could mean. In a few days, the city
was going to be evacuated, and all villages in the thirty kilometers radius was going to be vacated.
Today, only scientists and security officers, who work interchangeably, and some villagers, who returned
their homes by risking all health issues, live in the forbidden zone
He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1979. He graduated from the
Photography Department of Viborg Media Schools in 2002. After working as a freelance photographer for
Skylife and Atlas magazines, he performed as a photo editor. He worked as editorial director in Atlas
magazine between 2014 and 2017.
Çakmak’s photos, which are represented abroad by Anzenberger Agency based in Austria, are published in so
many magazines and newspapers such as Geo, Der Spiegel, DieZeit, The Financial Times and Ogoniok.
Been included in the embassy program as one of the “Explorers” of Canon Europe, Çakmak took the third place
in the AB reflections category of 2015 Turkey Press Photography contest. He is also the photographer of
“Gözün İsyanı Gezi” (Riot of Eye; Gezi) book. He is the editor and presenter of the discussion program on
photography, “Göz Kararı”, broadcasted in Medyascope.