UARU
Yes, There Is A Festival Near Chornobyl Now
11 June, 2015
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What You Need To Know:

✓ 86 Festival aims to address energy issues such as alternative energy sources and energy security through film screenings as well as lectures and workshops on urban living.
✓ The festival is held in the town of Slavutych north of Kyiv which was built by the Soviet authorities to re-locate those forced to leave their homes near Chornobyl


29 years on from the Chornobyl explosion and people are finding new and innovative ways to remember the disaster. 86 Festival aims to address energy issues such as alternative energy sources and energy security. The festival is held in the town of Slavutych north of Kyiv which was built by the Soviet authorities to re-locate those forced to leave their homes near Chornobyl.

86 Festival is an international film and urban living festival that was held between 30 April and 4 May, 2015. Located in the middle of a forest the town resembles a sort of Swedish suburb because of the heavy investment by the Soviet authorities. The festival is unique because it take places in a small town of just 25,000 but at the same time tries to develop the culture and activism of the locals who live there.

“The town is an important part of our program. It is such a bodily experience for our guests. They can go from one end of the town to the other in 15 minutes. Slavutych is located in a forest. It is the city equivalent of a flowerbed which has been planted in the middle of a forest which is part of Polesia, one of the largest forest areas on the continent. There are very few towns like it in Ukraine. That’s why the nature of Polesia is also part of our festival program. Pine trees, birds, fresh air ... All this of course was incorporated, “one of the co-founders of the festival Illia Gladshteyn told Hromadske.

Part of the festival’s program also included a tour of Slavutych where the guests and participants learnt about the unusual history behind the town’s creation which was founded by 8 of the Soviet republics. As well as tours of Chornobyl and Prypiat, the Chornobyl issue featured prominently in festival as a whole.

It’s hard to describe the impact that the films screened in Slavutych had on their audience. The urban living component of the festival included lectures and masterclasses. In one class participants cut down trees from the nearby forest and created a set of outdoor furniture.

There was also entertainment for the children while the parents were busy watching films. Cyclists enjoyed the car-less streets and the local night clubs were filled with DJs from Kyiv and abroad. This is the second year 86 Festival has been held and it appears to be growing.

/ Video by Kateryna Mizina.