Words by Tristan Kennedy | Photos courtesy of The Insiders Project
Squeezing between reinforced concrete and rusting metal pipes, a shaven-headed young man in a tracksuit makes his way down the darkened tunnel. Shaky GoPro footage, illuminated only by the milky light of a torch, shows him contorting his body to bend it through the increasingly tight gaps. Despite the griminess of the surroundings, he moves with the skill and dexterity of a professional climber scaling El Capitan. Finally, he drops down a ladder to arrive in front of a thick steel blast door.
“We’re right underneath the factory,” he whispers breathlessly to the camera. “Listen, you can hear the workers bustling around above. And this,” he says, turning towards his objective, “is the entrance to the nuclear bomb shelter.”
“Like explorers of old, they map out the uncharted urban wildernesses they discover – using mobile phones and GoPro cameras instead of sextants and charts.”
Dimitri ‘Dima’ Gromov is an urban explorer, one of a new breed of adventurers who spend their time uncovering the hidden secrets of cities. Climbing tall buildings or diving down tunnels, they discover places that ordinary city-dwellers never get to see. Like the explorers of old, they map out the uncharted urban wildernesses they discover but they use mobile phones and GoPro cameras instead of sextants and charts.