On the 14th of May, 2020, a webinar (Re)Placing Chernobyl zoomed in on the popular HBO miniseries “Chernobyl” (2019) to explore the politics of aesthetics, the power of TV mediation of scientific expertise and the wide-ranging impacts of this cultural representation of the disaster. In the context of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, questions of public trust in science and the role of scientific experts in governance have returned to the forefront. The discussion roundtable gathered prominent scholars, artists and cultural producers to unpack the complexities that emerged in process of staging the Chernobyl disaster in the twenty first century.
(Re)Placing Chernobyl was meant to take place live, at the University College London. It was organised in partnership with the UCL Fringe Centre, the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Lithuanian Culture Institute, the Lithuanian Embassy in the United Kingdom, Go Vilnius, the contemporary art magazine This Is Tomorrow and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The online discussion attracted 288 unique viewers on Zoom and about 200 more viewed the webinar live on Youtube. The event was streamed live by the KTH Environmental Humanities Lab, the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, the USA. The speakers: Simon Evans, Head of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Michael N. Goddard, Reader in Film, Television and Moving Image at the University of Westminster, UK, Paul Josephson, Professor of History, Colby College, USA, Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society, UCL, UK, Tatiana Kasperski, PhD in Politics and researcher at Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, Johan Renck, Film director, won the Emmy Award (2019) for his work on the mini-series “Chernobyl,” Vitalij Strigunkov, Visual artist, Lithuania, Simon Watson, Senior Lecturer in Robotics Systems, the University of Manchester, UK. Egle Rindzeviciute chaired the discussion.
You can watch it live following this link: RePlacing Chernobyl on YouTube.