Memory, Trauma, and the Maternal: Post-Apocalyptic View of the Chernobyl/Chornobyl/Charnobyl Nuclear Disaster
Chornobyl/Chernobyl/Charnobyl has a symbolic meaning for several generations of east Europeans. It is a city that experienced a disastrous nuclear explosion in 1986 that bequeathed a post-apocalyptic landscape and an eloquent demonstration of the Anthropocene. The epistemological crisis for humanity provoked by the Chornobyl nuclear disaster led to the emergence of post-Chornobyl art, an art of acceptance and denial, an art of physical and emotional trauma, an art that symbolized humanity’s responsibility for the future.
This paper focuses on art works produced in the first two decades after the explosion at the Chornobyl nuclear plant. The range of art pieces examined in this paper is diverse, from representational art to conceptual installations. The article is an attempt to analyze the trend of post-Chornobyl art created by witnesses of the tragedy. They are Belarusian and Ukrainian artists for whom Chornobyl epitomizes the point of non-return, the overwhelming tragedy of their people, and the devastation of their land; and for whom Chornobyl is an inverted metaphor of the legitimacy of peaceful atom and the results of the Anthropocene. The paper employs Griselda Pollock’s theoretical approach to trauma and focuses on the art of the maternal created by artists of both genders.
Copyright (c) 2020 East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Ⓒ 2023 Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, and EWJUS (East-West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies). For permissions and other inquiries, please contact the Editor-in-Chief: email@example.com
The Author transfers and assigns to EWJUS (East-West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies) and the CIUS (Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies), during the full term of copyright and any extensions or renewals of that term, all copyright in and to the Work published in EWJUS by the Author, including but not limited to the right to publish, republish, transmit, sell, distribute and otherwise use the Work in electronic and print editions of EW:JUS and in derivative works throughout the world, in all languages and in all media now known or later developed, and to license or permit others to do so.
Notwithstanding the above, EWJUS grants back to the Author the following distinct rights:
- The non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display the Work in any medium in connection with the Authors’ academic and professional activities, including but not limited to teaching, conference presentations, and lectures.
- The non-exclusive right to create derivative works from the Work.
- The non-exclusive right to make full use of the Work in future research and publications, including the right to republish the Work in whole or in part in any book that one or more of the Authors may write or edit after the Work has appeared.
The Author represents and warrants that the Work is the original work of the Authors and that it does not violate or infringe the law or the rights of any third party and, specifically, that the Work contains no matter that is defamatory or that infringes any literary or proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, or any rights of privacy. The Author also warrants that he or she has the full power to make this agreement, and if the Work was prepared jointly, the Author agrees to inform the Authors of the terms of this Agreement and to obtain their written permission to sign on their behalf. The Author agrees to hold the Journal harmless from any breach of the above-mentioned representations.
Works published by EWJUS are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Under the terms of this license:
- You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.