Maisie Crow

  • April and her mother Lara smoke a cigarette in the front yard of their home in Wellston, OH. Following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents, April is growing up poor and lives below the poverty line. According to her father, April's family of five lives off of $14,000 a year. In 2008 the federal poverty line for a family of five was $24,800
  • April gets frustrated while smoking a cigarette on her couch. April started smoking after her uncle offered her a cigarette at a young age. Recently, April's family had to start rolling their own cigarettes to save money.
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  • "It is a unique city,” says Dmitry Stelmakh, head of Strategic Planning at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. “Although it is a young city, it has a lot of history.”
  • Lubov Nikolaevna rests on her couch early one morning. Lubov was employed at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 when the disaster occurred. She returned to work near the fourth reactor shortly after the meltdown. Lubov says that all of the other people she was quarantined with have since passed away, and just a few years ago her husband died, too. She attributes his death to radiation exposure.
  • Relatively new graves fill the cemetery in Slavutych. The average dates on most of the headstones place the deceased at around their mid 40s to mid 50s at the time of their death. One resident took me from gravestone to gravestone pointing out the commonality.
  • Galya Savitskaya, who works as a “dezaktivator”at the Chernobyl Power Plant, stands in the kitchen of her home. She began working at the plant shortly after her father's death. "I think about the fact that radiation has negative effects on the human body, but I try not to think about the consequences," she said.
  • A worn poster hangs in an empty waiting room in the hospital's birthing area. After the disaster over eighty percent of the plant workers were replaced with new, young workers who moved to Slavutych and started families which, at one time, contributed to a high birthrate.
  • A man breaks up fire wood during a picnic on the edge of town near the forest.
  • A woman takes one of the three trains that leave Slavutych each morning, bound for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The train travels 50km, passing through Belarus and into the exclusion zone before dropping workers at the entrance to the plant.
  • Cafeteria workers at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant watch Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev from the windows of the lunchroom. President Yanukovych and President Medvedev came speak at the 25th Anniversary Ceremony of the disaster at Chernobyl.
  • Artiom Mishko plays with a gas mask in his parents' bedroom. It is now nothing more than a toy, a relic of a Soviet era that he does not remember. Artiom's late grandparents worked at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. His father now works there as a fireman.
  • After gathering with friends for a camping trip on the Dnieper river near Slavutych, Pavel Pospelov wades into the water.

Maisie Crow
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Maisie Crow (1982) grew up in South Texas. She is a photographer and multimedia producer based in Brooklyn, New York. Maisie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and studied as a graduate student at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication.

In 2012, her short film, Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now, won the Overseas Press Club Award for online video and was recognized by the World Press Photo Multimedia Contest, Pictures of the Year International and Best of Photojournalism. She was also selected as an Honorable Mention for Magenta Flash Forward.

In 2010 her multimedia project, A Life Alone, was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy and recognized in Best of Photojournalism, and she attended the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Ian Parry Scholarship and the Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Grant for her photo project, Love Me. Her work has been screened at LOOKbetween, the Lumix Festival for young photojournalism and the New York Photo Festival.

She has worked with The Boston Globe, Bread for the World, MediaStorm, Robin Hood Foundation, Save the Children, and Virginia Quarterly Review among others. Maisie has taught as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and as a multimedia instructor at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.