Shortlist 2020

Sviatlana Stankevich

Sviatlana Stankevich is a Belorussian photographer who works with documentary and conceptual photography. Sviatlana lives and works in Minsk, Belarus. Stankevich graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of the Belarusian State University. Currently, she is a student of the Academy of Documentary Photography and Photojournalism, St. Petersburg, Russia. Scholar of the program "Gaude Polonia" with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Poland. She participated in personal and group exhibitions in Belarus, Lithuania, and Georgia. Publications: Bird in Flight, F-Stop Magazine,,, Private, SEEN Magazine, Edge of Humanity Magazine.

The Problem


Belarus suffered more from the Chernobyl disaster than other countries. Radionuclides contaminated almost 23% of the territory. Gradually, the state allows to use of land commercially; the liquidators lose their benefits; a new nuclear power plant is being built in the north-west of the country. The launch of the first power unit is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. Reconditioned land, deprivation of benefits, construction of a new nuclear power plant -  are the same things as elimination of the memory of the catastrophe. A disaster that took one half-life of cesium-137. Originally, the "Liquidation" project was formulated as a typology of absence, a series about the liquidators; faceless people who are invisible to the state; people who could not be identified by any means in the same way as it was impossible to recognize the radiation. But liquidators did not disappear as well as the radioactive cosmos which materialized in people, objects, and places that had been turned into the waste materials of the catastrophe.