[Kollektivnaia travma i pamiat’ ob avarii na Chernobyl’skoi AES: k 35-letiiu radiatsionnoi katastrofy]
Type of publication: Research Article
Chernobyl, trauma, collective memory, ontological security, radiation risks
The article draws on the concepts of Aleida and Jan Assmann and Anthony Giddens to enquire into the mechanics of Chernobyl’s collective trauma and the ways of maintaining ontological security by people who have lived in areas contaminated by radiation. It focuses on the cases of Novozybkov, the Bryansk region, and Plavsk, the Tula region, where a range of in-depth field interviews were conducted. We show the different strategies employed by different people in order to keep safe in the radiation zones and manage radiation risks. These strategies differ both in the patterns of acknowledgement of risks and in the choice of actions taken toward the minimization of risks; these are 1) the silencing of traumas (Assmann) or the bracketing out of risks (Giddens) either through a) the denial of the risk, when nothing is done to minimize it, or b) through the denial of the risk followed by unconscious efforts at managing it, or else c) by the acceptance of the risk followed by the deliberate refusal to act toward minimizing it; and 2) the conscious managing of the risks through the acknowledgement and acceptance of the impact of radiation and active efforts taken to reduce or minimize it.
Belova, Yu.Yu., M.E. Muravitskaia, and N.M. Melnikova. 2022. Kollektivnaia travma i pamiat’ ob avarii na Chernobyl’skoi AES: k 35-letiiu radiatsionnoi katastrofy [Collective Trauma and the Memory of the Accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant: 35 Years after the Disaster]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 197–218. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522030113 EDN: HWOBOR
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