In December, Mika Perkiömäki from Tampere University will give a presentation on the international media coverage of the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The research aims at assessing whether the prevailing narratives emerging from the media are of ecological or geopolitical character.

The Online talk will be held on Zoom on December 12 from 12:00 to 13:30 (Helsinki time). If you wish to participate and receive emails with updates about the future online talks, please leave your contact information here by December, 11 at noon: registration form. If you have already subscribed to the Online talks mailing list, you don’t need to register again: you will receive further information via email.

About the research: The presentation is based on an ongoing research about international media coverage of the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 2022–2023. As a site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, Chornobyl has been a contested space, subjected to, for example, geopolitical narratives. The ecological core of the legacy of Chornobyl is often subordinate to these narratives. Since February 2022, when the Russian army invaded and occupied Chornobyl, and soon after Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, events have been widely followed in the international media, arousing widespread anxiety of a major nuclear disaster in an unprecedented scale. Russia has weaponized Ukrainian nuclear power plants in a new way, against the Geneva Conventions, which forbid making peaceful nuclear production plants the object of attack. The aim of this research is to investigate, whether the prevailing narratives of this media coverage are primarily ecological, or do they continue the previous geopolitical battle. What are we actually afraid of when we are afraid of a nuclear disaster caused by the Russian army?

Speaker’s bio: Mika Perkiömäki, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Languages Unit of Tampere University and a visiting researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki. His field of expertise is environmental humanities in connection to Russian media, literature, and culture. He has worked on ecocritical research of Russian literature of the Soviet period as well as environmental and climate discourses in contemporary Russian media. Perkiömäki is a member of the Tampere Research Centre for Russian and Chinese Media (TaRC).

Moderator: Katja Lehtisaari (Tampere University)

Online talk on Russian Media is a collaborative initiative between Russian Media Lab Network, University of Helsinki, and Tampere Research Center for Russian and Chinese Media.

Photo by Ilja Nedilko on Unsplash.

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