The Last Conversation with Academician Sakharov


Research-based project on the remains of the Soviet nuclear test site in Northern Kazakhstan. Until 1989, when the site was closed, over 450 nuclear detonations were carried out in about 40 years. Even today, many locals suffer because of the radioactive contamination that has been found in soil, food, and water. The small town Semipalatinsk 21 was built to manage the scientific centre and the experimental areas located in the close vicinity.


The title The Last Conversation with Academician Sakharov refers to a 1989 newspaper article in which an American journalist describes a meeting with Andrei Sakharov shortly before his death. As a talented nuclear physicist in the 1950s, Sakharov’s inventions led to the first Soviet thermonuclear bomb. At a later stage of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear war was omnipresent, Andrei Sakharov became a very outspoken opponent of the arms race, and was known as a human rights activist across the world. In 1975 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but for a long time he was not allowed to leave the Soviet Union, where the communist regime considered him an enemy of the state.


“The Last Conversation with Academician Sakharov” was published as a photo book in 2022.