New East Digital Archive

At home near Chernobyl: the kitsch interiors of a former Soviet ‘urban utopia’

7 February 2019

Instagram account Slavutych At Home, run by Swiss artist and curator Sybille Feucht, strives to take a look inside the flats and houses of Slayutych to see what life is like in the former Soviet urban utopia built on the precarious foundations of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

You will probably have heard of Slavutych before — the town was purposely built 33 years ago shortly after the Chernobyl disaster to provide homes for those evacuated from Pripyat, who were mostly Chernobyl nuclear plant workers and their families.

While history might paint grim pictures of living on a post-nuclear battlefield, the town was constructed to be the town of the future with small houses and precise pine-lined streets. A look inside the houses with this Instagram account paints a third dimension — with bright wallpaper, embroidered pillows and potted plants.