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Alcoholics Anonymous, Borodyanka

As some of you know, I am currently working on a documentary photo project on people affected by radiation in the former Soviet Union. Other photographers have already made some powerful documentaries on the direct results of radioactive pollution and nuclear accidents like Chernobyl. I am taking a broader view and also looking at the secondary impacts on these communities. Such as alcoholism.

So far, I've not posted these photos here as I am still seeing how all the stories fit together. I just thought I'd share a sample photo from yesterday.

Sasha Starovoitenko (in suit jacket) leads an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in the Chernobyl Community Center in Borodyanka, Ukraine. Sasha was a liquidator in Chernobyl, serving in the army during the clean-up effort following the 1986 catastrophe. Afterwards, he began to drink and spent many years as an alcoholic. Today he serves as an alcohol prevention counselor for the community center. Borodyanka is a small town (population 16,000) 48 miles south of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where many Chernobyl evacuees were resettled in 1986.

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