Commodification of the Disaster: “Chernobyl” Case

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30-year experience of studying “Chernobyl narrative” as a (non)fiction response to the explosion at Chernobyl nuclear energy plant (26 April, 1986) reveals that Chernobyl as a real urban Soviet City transferred into the amalgamation of its symbolic images such as a symbol of “Human-Nature” battle, an huge piece of abundant urban area, a Nature’s domination, a protector from “peaceful atom”, a tomb of the Soviet regime, selfdestroying science, a part of “private historical memory”, an unhealthy fascination (by A. Korzeniowska-Bihun), and even as a litmus test that shows the attitude of the authorities towards their own society both in the 1980s and even in the time of 2013/2014, followed by the military events. Nowadays shaped by the unique human-environment relationships, the digital society determines the transmedial transformations of “Chernobyl” perception within the convergent media culture (creating on/off-line activities – computer games S.T.A.L.K.E.R., ZONE; Chernobyl VR Project; Zone-tourism), which made “the Exclusion Zone” a subject of commodification stressing the commercialization of a nuclear disaster. “Chernobyl” extended the limits of real (and even “literary”) zone and changed into a digital place, where the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe hosts virtual characters-players wearing Exoskeletons or classic Monolith suits with gas masks and equipped with powerful weapons and aiming to reach Chernobyl Sarcopaghus and refuse Common Consciousness” Such aspect of the research is focused on studying the transformations of ”Chernobyl” (as a subject/object of commercial relations) within urban studies in the aspect of distinguishing local/global dimensions of “nuclear narrative” while stressing its implementation in shaping the “provincialized” nuclear culture.
Studying the commercialized “Chernobyl” in “nuclear humanities” gives an opportunity to distinguish the local/global features of the urban studies in the context of researching ecological memory and nuclear identity in the post-traumatic societies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventThe Politics of Sustainability - Helsinki
Duration: 15 Feb 201816 Feb 2018


ConferenceThe Politics of Sustainability
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Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities

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