This work comes from Mark Griffiths, a series of photographs documenting 8 children upon a trip to the UK. The children are from Belarus, where an astonishing 85 percent of the children there are still deemed to be victims of the Chernobyl disaster. The government of Belarus and Ukraine decided that affected children should leave the contaminated regions for at least one month a year to give their immune system a boost. Mark Griffiths documents their time in the UK with such thought provoking results
Hit the jump to see the rest of Mark Griffiths series
The Chernobyl meltdown is one part of history that is so widely known, that most people will know the devastating effect it had. 99% of the Belarusian land was contaminated to varying degrees above what is internationally acceptable, to this day the people there still receive varying amounts of radiation from the poisoned earth.
The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline is a charity that was founded to help the affected children. They carried out scientific research to determine whether a clean environment would benefit those affected. From 4000 children that were examined the results determined that the radioactive elements in a child before and after a 4 week visit to the UK dropped by an average of 68 percent.
So aptly named, The Healing Land documents the children on one of their annual trips away from the affected lands. Shot in Pembrokeshire, a place with outstanding natural beauty, blue flag beaches, dense woodland and clean air. Mark’s works shows us children being children, having fun, playing and socialising. This all comes with the thought in mind that their bodies are healing themselves through exposure to uncontaminated lands
In photography, every photograph is a fleeting moment, we change every second on a molecular level that the person captured has instantly changed. In the case of Mark Griffiths’ work, every photograph documents the healing process of these children, with every shutter release they are getting better just by being in an unaffected part of the world. The whole experience aims to make it as enjoyable as possible for the children while the land takes its natural course of healing the wounds.