Uranium City 1996-2003

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All photographs @copyright Tim Beckett

These are among the dozens of photographs I took of Uranium City between 1996 and 2003, during which I visited the town four times. During this period, the town dropped in population from just under 200 to less than a hundred, especially after the hospital closed in the summer of 2003.

At the time, I wasn’t confident enough to photograph people (and have never been more than an amateur photographer anyway). Instead, I focused on the landscape, and the empty buildings. The majority of the buildings in Uranium City were built in the ’70s and even early ’80s – right up until the point when Eldorado Nuclear announced on December 3rd, 1981 that they would be closing their mine in six months. Thus, Uranium City presented a startling site: a town of modern buildings, largely abandoned, left to decay for two decades as they slowly sink back to earth

The combination of the startling landscape, and these empty houses, was compelling, overwhelming, mystifying, particularly since I’d known the town when every house and building had been occupied – when it had been growing. I am slowly sorting through my collection and will continue posting as I digitize and clean up the photographs I took in this period