To fully show the extent of mankind’s destructive ways Example’s video would need to have been shot in a war zone or even on the soundstage of a disaster movie.
The crew had access to neither but what seemed to be the most farfetched idea at the treatment stage of the video turned out to be the ideal location for this music promo. On April 26th, 1986 the 4th reactor at Chernobyl caught fire and spread thousands of tonnes of radioactive gas and debris into the atmosphere affecting places as far a field as Wales. The nearby town of Pripyat was worst hit, resulting in it’s entire population of close to 60,000 people evacuating their homes and belongings in a matter of days and being relocated all over the Soviet Union. Today Pripyat is a mere ghost town where the silence is deafening, the trees grow freely through cracks in the roads and many places lie just as they were left 20 years ago. Whilst ‘What We Made’ can be read as a lesson in mankind’s ways of modern warfare it can also be seen as a warning of the dangers of nuclear energy. Although Pripyat is now safe enough to visit for a few days — with the aid of radiation measuring Geiger counter — it will remain uninhabitable for 20,000 years. No where else in the world is the imagery of self-destruction more starkly apparent than in Chernobyl.