“Chernobyl” as a Factor of Ecological Identity Formation: the Case of Ukraine

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At the time of the Nuclear Anthropocene (E. Carpenter) the global environmental theory challenges us to develop new concepts, approaches, principles and toolkits that foster a new thinking within environmental humanities. The environment-centered thought encourages the renewed essential impulse of seeking for identity through environmental humanities: about our own perception and our relation to “the Other” within the tightly-linked “Nature-Human-Science” paradigm where humanistic accounts of political representation and ethical recognition can be considered in regard to other species, when “social identities are studied in relation to conceptions of the natural, the animal, the bodily, place, space, landscape, risk, and technology, and in relation to the material distribution of environmental hazards and pleasures”. [White, 2010 : 287]
The renewed role of technologies and science within existing paradigms encourages the transformations of environmental humanities’ focus in the context of current climate change, political instability and global governance. That clearly demonstrates the process of forming a new category of human’s identity – that is ecological identity. Ecological identity reflects the diversity of ways how a person is aware of himself/herself and shapes his/her own perception of the environment within the Nuclear Anthropocene. The knowledge and experience, forming the person’s ecological outlook, ultimately cause a rethinking of memories, events and circumstances of his/her personal life - so called, the "ecological identification process". That in turn results in personality’s changes, shaping a new attitude to the environment and forming an active social position concerning the issues of nature conservation.
In this paper I provide the outlook of theoretical approaches to the issue of “ecological identity” which makes the background for interpreting the ecological identity within the Chernobyl discourse and allows me to argue that it is Chernobyl writing that encourages the narrative implementation of the Chernobyl accident, shapes the symbolic fulfillment of post-Chernobyl literature and results in reconsideration of the Ukrainians’ ecological identity within the post-traumatic society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDebaty Artes Liberales
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6122 Literature studies
  • ecocriticism, Chernobyl

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