Distant Echoes

Immersive Journalism

2015── Twenty-nine years after the Chernobyl disaster, researchers, journalists, and non-governmental organizations have flown to the power plant in Ukrainian to explore the scene of the accident. Although neighboring Belarus suffered 70% of the radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, it seems to have been forgotten by the world. In Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe, the disaster zone became a forbidden zone. Every year on April 26th, people took to the streets to protest but were arrested. The authorities denied the radiation danger, reduced medical supports for survivors, and announced the construction of the first-ever nuclear power plant. As a result, some survivors secretly went back to the disaster area and lived in their former homes that they were forcibly evacuated from in 1986, when they were young, to coexist with the invisible killer of their loved ones. We visited individual survivors, listened to their stories, and captured innumerable solus silhouettes recalling the homes they cannot return to. At the same time, we investigated governmental actions, visited related organizations and documented the attitudes of people across Belarus towards homeland, history, politics, and national identity.

“Distant Echoes” combined video, environmental sound, panorama, images and texts. It established the first form of immersive journalism in Taiwan. In 2018, the images were included in the  Taiwanese edition of “Voices from Chernobyl,” a book by the Belarusian Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich. In 2020, when the new Belarusian nuclear power plant was completed, and the demonstration and suppression were in full swing, looking back at everything that the Belarusian people have shared with us, there is a feeling of ghostly entanglement.

2015年──車諾比事件29年後,研究人員、新聞工作者、非政府組織紛紛飛往烏克蘭廠區,想一探核災場景。鄰國白羅斯雖承受車諾比核災 70%輻射塵,卻彷彿遭世人遺忘。在歐洲的最後一個獨裁國度裡,災區成為禁區,每年4月26日,人們上街抗議,但受逮捕。白羅斯當局否認輻射遺害、縮減醫療資源,並宣告興建第一座核電廠。於是,部分倖存者秘密返回災區,住進年輕時遭強制遷離的老家,寧可與奪走至親的殺手共存。我們拜訪形影單隻的倖存者,聆聽他們的故事,陪他們追憶逝去的家園。同時,紀錄白羅斯各地人們對家園、歷史、政治、國族認同的態度。

《遙遠人聲》結合錄像、環境音、360度環景、照片與文字,開啟臺灣沉浸式報導形式的先河。2018年,照片並收錄於白羅斯諾貝爾文學獎得主斯維拉娜‧亞歷塞維奇著作《車諾比的聲音》臺灣版。在白俄新核電廠落成、人民反政府運動如火如荼的2020年,回顧人們分享的一切,更見幽靈纏繞之感。

Immersive Journalism & Investigative Journalism

  • Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Belarus
  • Multiple areas in Belarus
  • 2015

Awards

  • *Tseng Hsu-Pai Journalism Award - Best New Media Reporting, TW, 2015
  • *4A Awards - Best Digital Visual Design, TW, 2015
  • *Excellent Journalism Award - Finalist of Feature Stories, TW, 2015
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  • Producer, Journalist and Composition: Yunjie Liao
  • Audiovisual: Lungyin Lim
  • Fixers and Interpreters: Anonymous
  • Translator: Mathilda Banfield 
  • Website: BREMEN

Sponsors

  • Mom Loves Taiwan Organization, TW
  • WeReport - The Association of Quality Journalism, TW
  • And multiple backers
  • 2014