Chernobyl Herbarium, a book to reflect on the legacy of nuclear disasters

Chernobyl Herbarium, a book to reflect on the legacy of nuclear disasters
Chernobyl Herbarium, a book to reflect on the legacy of nuclear disasters

Chernobyl Herbarium, the essay by Mimesis Edizioni that recounts the consequences of the 1986 nuclear accident through the texts of the philosopher Michael Marder and the images of the visual artist Anaïs Tondeur

35 years later, the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl it is an open wound that writers, philosophers and artists try to cauterize with a reflection that immediately becomes a commitment. It does not escape this logic Chernobyl Herbarium, an interesting hybrid in which the philosopher’s writing Michael Marder meets the frames obtained by the visual artist Anaïs Tondeur arranging radioactive herbarium samples on photosensitive paper.

The images of Tondeur are “Visible records of an invisible calamity”, an environmental catastrophe that was initially concealed by Soviet political authorities and only began to emerge when anomalies were detected levels of radioactivity in Sweden.

Just this dialectic between visible and invisible is the heart of Marder’s reflection: “The figure of an enemy usually solves the problem: by channeling negative emotions, hatred and animosity, it also helps to consolidate the community of those who fight together against the threat it represents. Declarations of war against an invisible enemy, however, follow a logic of their own. Although they identify the hostile force, they distort and eventually erase its contours, leaving it indeterminate and potentially omnipresent ”.

The author does not escape how the anthropogenic constant share both the 1986 catastrophe and the spread of the new coronavirus, son of the invasion of habitats by humans. The big difference between the plant world and the animal world is precisely in the harmfulness towards other living beings: if plants receive from the elements all that is necessary to thrive, animals and humans need to ingest nutrients, destroying their integrity.

Chernobyl: unnatural selection and eco-tourism future? Reportage from the Dead Zone, 33 years after the nuclear catastrophe

Chernobyl thus becomes the paradigm of a capitalism that looks to the planet as a reservoir from which to draw constantly, regardless of the consequences why “The dependence on economic convenience is stronger than fear” e “The economy surpasses ecology, albeit at the price of our environmental home, the oikos, which we all inhabit and which lives there, which constitutes our own body”.

Chernobyl represents “A sort of laboratory for a vibrant planet, where life thrives long after the extinction of our species” and loss “Of a world where you could still breathe, live and simply be”.

Fires in Chernobyl: the woods near the former nuclear power plant burn, surge in radiation

From the plant world, as he also explains Stefano Mancuso in many of his books, we can learn a lot: “Plants teach us that there is no infinite growth, no growth without decay, which is the prerequisite for future growth. What the imperatives of the market economy and nuclear energy derivatives have in common is the suppression (indeed, the repression) of decay. This makes them incompatible with the world of the living, which they undermine and destroy ”.

A few days ago in the bookstore for the types of Mimesis Editions, Chernobyl Herbarium is translated from Donatella Caristina and is included in the series Looks and visions directed by Francesca Adamo.

Click here to buy the book.

[Foto @Pixabay]

Chernobyl Herbarium, a book to reflect on the legacy of nuclear disasterslast edit: 2021-09-20T07:31:36+02:00 gives Davide Mazzocco

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