Visual Narratives of Chernobyl: Venerating, Mourning and Healing

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Elena ROMASHKO, University of Gottingen, Belarus
This paper describes the ways in which people in Belarus resort to vernacular religion in oder to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. It gives an outlook on the approaches and interactions between official and folk religion in the process of coping with the ecological and worldview crisis. I suggest an analysis of the Russian Orthodox icons of the Chernobyl disaster and the Chernobyl monuments which are located on the Church ground. I demonstrate the usage of the objects of material religion in the emerged rituals of purification for food and houses, as well as veneration of icons which are known for curing the consequences of the radiation impact. I aim to describe what religious images, texts and allusions were used on the official and folk levels of religion while commemorating the Chernobyl disaster.