Twenty-five years since the Chernobyl disaster, people are slowly returning to the restricted “Zone.” Yes, it’s still radioactive, but people come to maintain it, document it, and exploit it for thought provoking projects. One such visitor is photographer Alex Cheban, who focused on the abandoned town of Pripyat and its haunting graffiti.
There are patterns to the ghost town graffiti “scene.” Unsettling silhouettes of children reach for light switches in rotting buildings and play on the tallest roof in Pripyat. There are flowers blooming on the walls of the most hollowed out urban ruins. There’s even a glimmer of dark humor in the graffiti tribute to the indestructible roach, now ruling over the town’s unfinished parks and empty streets, crawling over rusted barrels and smashed billboards. See more post-Chernobyl graffiti in our gallery.