Dear Mr Greenaway ! We have decided to ask you to include the material about the fate of our village and its inhabitants into your future film, devoted to the history of uranium. We are very glad that there are people worried about ecological problems on the planet as you are. You are known to be a person who is able to see the essence of the problem and to analyze facts. That's why we hope your film will be a success.
The fact is that the tragic history of our village is closely connected with the history of the conquest of Uranium first of all because of its geographical position.
In 1957 Radioactive cloud formed as a result of the explosion at the nuclear enterprise "Mayak" covered our village.
We address you with a great and very important request to reflect somehow the history of our village in your film. May be you have a desire to devote one of the parts of your film to the event connected the formation of the so called East Ural Radioactive Trace because this ecological disaster is closely connected with the history of conquest of Uranium.
It's necessary for us, for our future generations, for the survival of man on the Earth. The film made by such a talented person like you, would certainly help to solve ecological problems of our village.
Our village is more than 400 years old. It was founded by the refugees who came during Ivan the Terrible's conquest of Kazan. They ran away to Ural in the hope to save their own religion, when Ivan the Terrible (the Russian Tsar) started to impose Christianity on the people of Tataria.
In the depth of the Ural woods our village suffered from all the cataclysms which accompanied the history of whole Russia: tzarism, revolutions, wars and collectivization, Stalin reprisals and one of the largest in the history of the planet industrial accident the explosion store-house of radioactive waste products at the enterprise "Mayak".
During the October revolution of 1917 the village was the place of the battles of the white Army of Kolchak, since that time up to now traces of enrichments remain.
On the 29th of September 1957 the reservoir, containing high radioactivity (20 000 000 Curie), exploded at the "Mayak" enterprise. It is the basic enterprise at which academician I. V. Kurchatov realized the Russian Nuclear Project.
An orange-red column of smoke (1 km in height) was driven to the east by the wind. It covered a lot of settlements including Tatarskaya Karabolka.
One of the favorite games of the boys of those days was throwing their caps at the white radioactive flakes, falling from the sky. And even now after 45 years according to official data the level of contamination on the territory of the village is (5-17 Curie) per square kilometer that considerable exceeds the level at which the people must be resettled.
In 1958 the local authorities came to the decision of resettlement of the village. The government provided finances for the resettlement Local authorities reported to Moscow about the resettlement. The neighboring village of Russian Karabolka which was 1,5 kilometers away from our village was resettled indeed.
But our village of Tatarskaya Karabolka remained on its former place and was not resettled. Why ??? There exists a public opinion which gives a definite answer to this question. It explains that members of the certain power structures have decided to investigate the influence of big dozes of radiation on the human being, and the possibility of human survival under the conditions of the influence of dozes of radiation exceeding limits.
For this reason nobody explained the degree of danger of living on this territory to the inhabitants of the village. The doctors were not allowed to put diagnoses connected with radiation. A special medical institution was set up in Chelyabinsk. It watched and analyzed the statistics of diseases and deaths of those people, who kept on living in Tatarskaya Karabolka after the explosion. This investigation also included people who left Karabolka afterwards.
During 4 centuries before the catastrophe the 3000 population of Karabolka had only 3 cemeteries after the explosion 5 more cemeteries appeared and the population of the village became 5 times reduced.
Practically all the inhabitants of the village did the works of liquidation of the consequences ,:f the accident but only few of them achieved scanty privileges 6 dollar a month and some kinds of free medical treatment.
The local governor mister Sumin arranged a real war. A lot of liquidators were deprived of their lawful 6 dollars.
The chairman of the Regional Court Mr. Vyatkin invented an unprecedented in the history of world jurisprudence: norm and issued a decision that testimony can't be proved in courts.
But the most brutal fact is that little children were forced to be involved in the work of liquidation. They gathered the harvest of polluted vegetables and buried it in ditches. They also planted pine-trees on the polluted territory and looked after those little trees. Those people who are still alive are seriously ill. They have to take part in endless judicial procedures and the real battle with Mr. Vyatkin and his judicial innovations.
The local archives with all the data about liquidator's work were burnt. That's why liquidators have no documents proving their participation in the liquidation of the consequences of the explosion.
The river flowing on the territory of Tatarskaya Karabolka was partly blocked at it's source because that part was immensely polluted with radioactive ashes. The source of the river is still guarded and this is a radioactive zone, shown in the film of Tarkovsky, entitled "STALKER". May be there are other reasons to forbid entering this zone. May be radioactive waste products are buried there.
For 45 years already the inhabitants of the village have been drinking water coming from that radioactive marsh.
According to the official maps the level of contamination of the territory is 12 Curie per square kilometer. But the people living in the village have not any privileges for that experiment which was held on them by their
authorities. At present we try to address the European court on human rights, but we have no proper informational support and it is hard to hope for a success.
The forbidden "Stalker" zone passed through the edge of our village and afterwards it was given to us for using it for our life. For the last decades we have been bringing additional pollution together with wood, hay and forages into our kitchen gardens. Though Radioactive Cesium has almost completely decayed, Strontium - 90 has half decayed, but nevertheless the level of contamination on the territory of the village is constantly increasing because of the fact that we bring radioactive hay and wood to the place where we live. There were times when we were formally forbidden to use wells and to enter our forests, to wear polluted clothes. Our local authorities took away our poisoned meat and vegetables. But any person has to survive anyhow. This is our tragic fate. We can't sell our hovels, nobody wants to buy them, because our territory is polluted. There is no industry and no manufacturing here.
If You get interested in our suggestion, you are sure to be provided with all collected information on the problem. The inhabitants are ready to help you with housing during your work of making a film. Our people can take part in mass scenes. There are some old people who remember those tragic events: when people in uniforms arrived by planes, when radiation supervisors arrived in great numbers, when inhabitants of the village were preparing for that resettlement which never occurred, when a certain polluted part of their area was declared a prohibited zone, the infected cattle was killed by shooting, the polluted crops were destroyed, a great number of people were taken to a clinic for sterilization. You could receive rich material for your future film, could understand the scales of that phenomenon which refers to as the conquest of Uranium better
P.S. Of course, YOU are an artist and YOU have got an artistic style of thinking Symbols and images and other art phenomena dominate in YOUR creative activities. You might reflect our problems using artistic approach to them.
The fact is that near our village YOU can still find ancient burial-mounds where the leaders of ancient skiffs tribes had been buried. They lived here two thousand years ago. 45 years ago a radioactive cloud spread these burial-mounds. The level of radioactivity on these burial-mounds is still mach higher than the normal.
Imagine such a picture. The Skiff leader, lying under the burial-mound suddenly revives under the influence of radioactive precipitations from the sky. And he gets out from his grave like a mighty titan. He calls all his other relatives and friends. They also get out of their graves. As there are many burial-mounds, he gathers a huge army of ancient skiffs. They assault the centers of civilizations where atom bomb is created. They annihilate them. Tired, but with the feeling of satisfaction from what they have done for mankind they return to their graves. Modern art has hardly ever reflected such an evident factor as the influence of radioactivity not only on gene structure of human organism but also on sexual behavior of man.
Radioactivity in small doses promotes the sexual activity, but in big doses it depresses it. It is a well-known fact, that the two main factors of motivation of manís behavior are sex and fear of death. Radiation influences both factors.
Due to the constant process of conquering atom the level of radioactivity on the Earth will be increasing. The consequences of this may lead to serious changes in the character of HOMOSAPIENCE. This problem demands to be investigated not only by scientists but also by artists.
At the same time humanís appearance, his height, length of human life, mortal illnesses will directly depend on the efficiency of the process of conquering atom.