Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Too powerful not to share

Between comparisons to the recent events at Fukushima in Japan and the recent passing of the 25th anniversary of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Chernobyl has gotten a lot of press recently. Most of the articles deal with the current situation of the reactor itself, the ruins of Pripyat, and/or the desolation of the exclusion zone within Ukraine. Not much is currently being written detailing the experiences of those directly affected by the disaster back in 1986, and not much has been written in general discussing the effects of Chernobyl on Belarus. However, a recent article in Eurozine entitled The Chernobyl Nobody Wants by Barys Piatrovich examines his personal memories of the event, as seen from the Belarussian side of the border. It is by far the most moving account of the disaster that I have read, and I highly recommend reading it.

When you're finished reading Piatrovich's article, you should re-visit the photos taken by Desolation Travel's Ben R. in the Belarussian dead zone, which can be seen here, and re-read his blog post from his trip as well. Several of the places which Piatrovich writes about were visited and photographed by Ben are mentioned in Piatrovich's piece (specifically Khoiniki, transliterated by Ben as Hoiniki, Хойники in Russian, and Homel/Gomel/Гомель).

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