If Disrupted

Studies for Chornobyl 22

Filmmaker and artist Oleksiy Radynski has been researching the historical and contemporary contexts of Soviet modernist architecture, art and cybernetics, as well as the political frames of Russian imperialism, logistics and extraction of natural resources. As a fierce critic of fossil fascism — a form of capitalist and imperialist domination based on fossil fuel extraction and distribution—Radynski closely followed one of the darkest moments in Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in 2022: the occupation of Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, which became a base for Russia’s weaponisation of energy and nuclear terror.

During the Russian occupation of the exclusion zone in early 2022, an anonymous local informant filmed the movement of Russian military vehicles clandestinely. In Studies for Chornobyl 22, Radynski follows the workers of the nearby Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant who discuss their experiences during Russia’s military takeover of their facility; an act of nuclear terror which threatened another global disaster at this site. Past and present catastrophic scenarios intertwine in this macabre episode of the Russian invasion. This work-in-progress has been developed as part of the Reckoning Project, a media and forensic effort aimed at investigating and prosecuting Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Oleksiy Radynski is a filmmaker based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He was raised on the ruins of the Documentary Film Studio in Kyiv. After studying film theory at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, he took part in several film education experiments including the Home Workspace Program (Ashkal Alwan, Beirut) and Labor in a Single Shot by Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann. His films have been screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, e-flux (New York), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Krakow IFF, DOK Leipzig, DoсAviv, Sheffield Doc Fest, Docudays IFF, S A V V Y Contemporary (Berlin), International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York), among other places, and received a number of festival awards.