The 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl scattered radioactive fallout over nearly 60,000 square miles of Eastern Europe. Yet the vast majority of people stayed, despite the danger. Their lives are still littered with unanswered questions about safety, security, and their future. But they refuse to go. Chernobyl is home.
A generation later, after the 2011 tsunami triggered disaster in a power plant that’s still leaking nuclear waste, the people of Fukushima, Japan, are confronting the same impossible questions.
Photojournalist Michael Forster Rothbart traveled to both Chernobyl and Fukushima to try and understand why people refuse to leave despite the risks. With Forster Rothbart’s personal narrative as guide, this stunning and provocative book blends photos, interviews, maps, and audio recordings to help us weigh the true value of home. In the end, Forster Rothbart and the reader both confront the ultimate question: Would you stay?