The brutally cold Russian winter adds an ethereal quality to Danila Tkachenko’s photographs of abandoned Soviet secret cities. It’s a sight to behold, really. Seeing the colossal structures, then state-of-the-art projects and cities wasting away with rust and time is both sad and astonishing at the same time.
Tkachenko’s series Restricted Areas won the 2015 European Publishers Award for Photography. The young Russian photographer covered 15,000 miles through his home country and neighboring countries to photograph the ruins of a war lost a long time ago. Tkachenko says his series is about “...utopian strive of humans of technological progress.” One couldn’t stop and wonder what would have happened if these technologies were put to use in the cold war. Maybe we would be looking at a different reality today.
The secret cities found in Tkachenko’s post-apocalyptic series give us a glimpse into mankind’s thrust for knowledge and technological advancement. Where there is success, there is failure and maybe it was all for the better. The structures remain and so are their interesting back stories even though they are hidden on maps and by the bitter cold.
'Restricted Areas' by Danila Tkachenko, winner of the 2015 European Publisher’s Award for Photography. Tkachenko’s other series titled ‘Escape’ also won first prize at the World Press Photo Awards in 2013. Watch out for our interview with Danila to be published right here on the Magazine. You can see more of his work on his website.