Eclectic non-fiction filmmaker, Alan C. Grazioso, has traveled the world for the last twenty years making films about children, water scarcity, climate change, fair trade farming and women's issues. Now, he turns to avant-garde fashion designer Geoffrey B. Small to explore how an artist and activist is contributing in his unique and sometimes controversial way to the global Occupy movement from a runway in Paris. Through a series of upcoming, randomly-releasing short films, Grazioso sets on a mission to discover how the designer continues evolving his art and his activism, and simultaneously influence both a changing fashion industry and the world that it reaches.
Alan C. Grazioso's film credits include BBC Worldwide, CBS, PBS, History Channel, PBS Kids, Save the Children and Oxfam. His short "GOATS: A Gift in Action Helping Women of East Africa" was an official finalist of the 2010 LINKTV.org ViewChange contest judged by Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Buena Vista Social Club), Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries, Amores Perros), Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon) and others.
Video montage works: "My Birthplace" photographed in Pripyat/Chernobyl by Roman Tcherpak followed by Geoffrey B Small Logomania: "This is not a flower" filmed in Paris by Jerome Chichet, as presented in Venice on the occasion of the Vernissage opening of the 54th International Venice Art Biennale and the historic June 12th -13th Italian National Referendum on nuclear power. Date of presentation: May 31st through June 5th, 2011, Castello, Fondamento San Giochin 996. Exhibition Producers Venice: Worksetting, UK. Chernobyl/Pripyat soundtrack: Masha Era (St. Petersburg). Paris sound & lighting: Maurice Giraud (Paris). Paris model casting: Stephane Olivier (Los Angeles).
c. Copyrights 2011, roman tcherpak, geoffrey b. small.
Roman Tcherpak is a photographer born in Ukraine at Dneproperovsk, as a child he remembers his hair falling out as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster which was over 550km away from his home. Just several weeks ago in early May 2011, he was asked by Geoffrey B. Small to make a series of photographs to help introduce and launch a special new t-shirt article from the Logomania collection that was developed specifically to help support the work of France's Reseau du Sortir du Nucleaire, one of the world's largest and most dedicated anti-nuclear environmental organizations (sortirdunucleair.org). Tcherpak traveled to Pripyat, Chernobyl site of one of the world's first nuclear ghost-towns where over 45,000 people were evacuated from their homes and never returned because of long-term radioactive contamination from the accident and explosion at reactor 4 in April, 26 1986. For his model subjects, Tcherpak found several of those people Irina Semenyuk, Olga Zakrevskaya, Alexandr Krilov, and Kristina Babich and brought them back to their home town for the first time in 25 years. They wore the t-shirt and their visit only lasted a few hours, as the radiation levels are still so high, that human beings must leave before their bodies are exposed to a lethal dose. Tcherpak captured these people and the spaces of their past lives in a touching manner to say the least, reviewing their homes, schools, streets...few outside know that in 1986 Pripyat was perhaps the most advanced city at the time in all of Russia. It was "a cultural center, filled with geniuses, scientists, physicists, mathematicians, artists." No less than 1 in every 3 homes had a real piano in it, and the city boasted the very first supermarket and discoteque in the entire Soviet Union (as we look at Venice today faced with the prospect of an AREVA EPR nuclear plant only 20km away, we must note that culture, art and history are no match against the monster of radioactive fallout from a nuclear catastrophe).
Tcherpak chose his subjects and locations with an aim to perhaps convey the impact on the millions of "normal people who lived nearby , the experience in the '80's...each finally has their own disaster...some of the people get cancers...there a few survivors of the half million people who worked in the nuclear castastrophe...fear for their children...parents angry at themselves for not having closed the windows or letting their children go outside at the wrong time, or giving them the wrong food or doing something that led to exposure and eventual irradiation... " Few examples are more poignant than Olga Zakrevskaya, who was born just 2 weeks before the fateful event- and is one of the very last human babies to ever be born in Pripyat. She returned with Tcherpak for the first time in 25 years to the place "her parents still completely refuse to visit, a place that remains in their memories as where they spent the most beautiful years of their lives...like many in their generation they are now living in empty houses like refugees, with only the most necessary things - because they believe it can happen all over again. And they are right, as hundreds of thousands of new nuclear energy refugees are painfully discovering now in Japan. But Olga and the others, are part of a new generation that wants to experience where she was born and what happened there, --the physical connection of being born in Chernobyl, a "dead-zone", a place not for humans anymore- like being born in outer space...almost a vacuum...and fight it." Music for the project was created by avant-garde Moscow-based artists Masha Era on vocals, and Ilya Shapovalov on piano. Roman Tcherpak lives and works in Venice.
As part of Geoffrey B. Small's special exhibition "This is not a flower" on the occassion the 2011 Vernissage week of the 54th Venice Art Biennale, Elizaveta Kleinot & Andrey Gutsul followed the photographer Roman Tcherpak on his photo journey to Pripyat (Chernobyl) and simultaneously filmed the locations and spaces of the lost city that was once the most advanced city in the Soviet Union and overlay it against an audio soundtrack replay of the April 29, 1986 evacuation order that was broadcast to the over 45,000 residents of Pripyat, who were forced to leave their homes, work, schools and offices within 2 hours, and never return...a testament to the true risks, costs and dangers of nuclear energy that is today being repeated at Fukushima and tomorrow may present itself to Venice and other cities that lie near existing and potential nuclear power stations. For the soundtrack, Hans Zimmer was originally contacted and agreed to authorize the use of his recordings from a previously done major movie release, however the directors, who live and work in St.Petersburg, chose instead to have an original track created by Sabina Krumas and Bayan Drowned in the final version for artistic and authenticity-related reasons.
Dedicated to the people of Italy and around the world who now face the ominous specter of the global Nuclear Renaissance being pushed upon them by governments and industry as a "clean and safe" energy solution to global warming. A documentary short piece shot by Paris film-maker Jerome Chichet that captures the historic, emotional presentation and surprising finale in Paris of Geoffrey B. Small's "Logomania"--the first international designer fashion collection that openly comes out against nuclear energy and arms proliferation in the 21st century. Edited by Geoffrey Small. Casting by Stephane Olivier. Lighting, Maurice Giraud.