Dead Inside: Fukushima Exclusion Zone Through The Eyes Of Polish Female Photographer

Natalia Sobańska (previously) is a photographer from Poland who traveled to Japan to photograph a deadly Fukushima exclusion zone.

According to Natalia: “My name is Natalia Sobanska and I like to visit abandoned places. It first started when I was teenage girl, after moving to a new place, this time to the suburbs. For a teenager it was fucking disaster. Apart from the fact of the hundredth change in friends and the fact that I didn’t know anyone there. I needed something to do, but there was nothing. I didn’t have internet (in 2004 it wasn’t as accessible as it is now). There was nothing , not even ordinary pubs, or a park, nothing. It was just charming cattle town. I was a rebellious minor, and the befits of a rebellious young woman, I truanted as much as I could. But.. Where you can go when in in the area is nothing intresting for you? Well …there was something. A few abandoned places .. And that’s how it all began.”

More: Natalia Sobańska, Instagram, Facebook h/t: boredpanda

“We all know the story about the Fukushima nuclear accident. The earthquake on 11th March 2011 caused a massive tsunami (with 10 meters high waves) that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s nuclear plant in Fukushima. It also let to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.”

“The cities that suffered the most were Natori, Ishinomaki, Kamaishi, Unfunato, Miyako, Minamisanriku, Kesennuma, and Rikuzentakata. These places were almost level with the ground. Hachinohe and Sendai suffered less but still, the tsunami has caused some serious damage to them. Over 15.5 thousand people were killed. Over 5,000 is still considered missing. Half a million have lost their homes, and 400,000 evacuated.”

“I’m an urban explorer and photographer, so going there was one of my biggest dreams, which came true in March 2018. However, my happiness from being there soon turned into overwhelming sadness with every step in the empty streets.”

“At first, we planned to spend 3 days there, but eventually, it was just 2 days. The reason was that we tripped a silent alarm in one place and it was received by a police station. Thankfully, we didn’t have huge problems but we had to finish our visit in Fukushima, for which I was actually relieved.”

“I love abandoned places but being there was just too traumatic. From the moment you step there, you are surrounded by the depth of the tragedy which happened. It was breaking my soul.”








































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