Chernobyl : Symbolic Fallout


An article commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster which focusses on Chernobyl’s many lives, deaths and its undead persistence. It includes this fascinating observation that one could easily read with a Gnostic eye:

Many poetic, artistic, and museum renderings of Chernobyl ponder the tensions between the technical and the spiritual, and correspondingly emphasize the techno-religious split: the trappings of the nuclear enterprise (gas masks, lead suits, “hazardous, radiation” symbols) are frequently juxtaposed with religious symbols (icons, crosses, prayer books). Orthodox iconography has incorporated Chernobyl as well—worshipers venerate icons of the Chernobyl Saviour, Our Lady of Chernobyl, and the Mother of God of Chernobyl, for example.

The article also speaks of the ‘toxic tourism’ that attracts people to the surrounding Zone of Alienation…and I have to admit that had I the time and funds I’d certainly make the trip. I’m fascinated by the haunting images, which often include objects that have become invested with a sadomasochistic eroticism. For this reason, I wonder to what degree one of the fallouts of Chernobyl is a kind of sado-voyeurism.

Annoyingly I can’t post this image directly…but it’s brilliant.

This is something that I wrote about communism and faith that took the Ukranian city of Pripyat as its symbolic focus.


One Response to “Chernobyl : Symbolic Fallout”

  1. Indeed a very powerful photo “this” was.

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