Maria Semenyuk, the resettler  - Ukraine



The Ukraine 2015


The story behind the photo:


Maria in her house in Paryshev, a small village in the restricted area, where she and her husband Ivan Ivanovich lived their whole life.  She passed away on May 17, 2016.
Maria was one of the last resettlers who still lived in the Exclusion Zone. In the 1930s, as a child, she survived the famine during the Holodomor. 3-8 million Ukrainians died. Only few years later, in the 1940s came the Nazis. During the second world war other 11 million Ukrainians were killed. After all these experiences Maria was not scared about radioactive dust and invisible nuclear particles in the air, water and soil. Much more she feared to be separated from her homeland, to lose her home, her identity, her livelihood. When she should be evacuated, she rebelled, ignored all warnings of the authorities, scientists and medical doctors and stayed, defying the radioactive contamination.


From the project "Chernobyl Stories" The Ukraine 2014-2019

Maria Semenyuk, the resettler


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