The Project

Even 25 years after the nuclear catastrophe in Chernobyl, many questions still remain open. Between September 2010 and March 2011 EUSTORY alumni try to close some gaps in the history of the accident. 61 young Europeans from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and Wales are researching about the reaction tot he accident in their countries. In a virtual classroom they present the results of monthly assignment and discuss with each other. Topics such as the energy supply in the respective countries of the participants, the reaction of the European media to the catastrophe of Chernobyl, the personal memories of the accident as well as how in school was dealt with the radioactive cloud, set a course in the monthly assignments. Thus, a sort of European press review arose, which displayed, that the information given directly after the accident were far too low. Due to that, the students worked out, that the articles from that time “were all written in the same way – very pathetic, without any relevant details, suppressing all the possible negatives. I do believe it was a common tendency in media during the Soviet times as the ideology of socialism resp. communism and therefore of the USSR was built on the idea that it never fails. Thus, everything negative, unpleasant or unsuccessful had to be suppressed”. (Zuzanna Jungerova, Slovakia). In order to deepen the understanding of the topic the participants got the chance to chat with experts on the issue such as the technical setting of nuclear power stations on one hand and the use of nuclear energy on the other hand. During the chat with another expert the students got an insight on the medical influence of radiation. In the discussion forum the participants argued if the use nuclear energy still is unavoidable. The students came to the insight, that it is not only about which energy source is used but mostly about the reduction of energy itself: “…, since the energy consumption is so high all over the world, first we should ask ourselves how we can reduce the consumption. Thus, we will be able to reduce the activity of some NPPs or even to shut down some of these (old) facilities. It is just a matter of willing. (Marius Drasovean, Romania). In April 2011 all participants will meet „in reality“ in Berlin in order to form an exhibition out of their research material. This exhibition will be presented during a public event on 26th April in the French Dome in Berlin, together with other presentations from the cooperation partners oft he project “25 Years After Chernobyl” – “Paths towards a Culture of Transnational Remembrance”. This project is organized by EUSTORY in cooperation with the IBB Dortmund / IBB Minsk and financed by the Mercator Foundation.

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