I choose this image to symbolize the effect of family displacement during the catastrophe of Chernobyl in 1986. This image shows outdoor bumper cars that gave the city of Chernobyl the ability to enjoy in the leisure on their free time. But, it hasn’t been used in over 25 years. Not only does it represent family displacement, but it shows how what type of effect the meltdown had on the city-life activities Chernobyl had. At the time, Chernobyl inhabited 50,000 and not to mention the other 85,000 people that were also affected by the disaster in. Pripyat. Which was the main city that was affected; cities in Belize were also affected.
In relation to my topic of how Chernobyl impacted more families than any other nuclear meltdown in history, this image shows how the erosion and loss of environmental life that took a toll of the disaster. As you can see in the picture, the cars are eroded and the pavement have a myriad of cracks. In addition you can see that the building providing shelter for this once lively arena that has slowly rusted over in a brown-like color. Grass and leaves cover the bumper car floor as weeds grow through the pavement. It looks like almost right before the meltdown inhabitants of Chernobyl were participating in this thrilling game. You can see how in the front of the picture, two bumper cars went into a head on collision and in the back, four more are in hot pursuit of each other. It seems that the game was interrupted when the siren went off, and people scattered, leaving the last bumper car game ever to happen in that arena.
The connection between this image in relation to Radioactive, is expressed in why I choose this image. Bumper cars is a fun, easy, thrilling activity that many families experience during the growth and expansion of family relations. The effect of Marie Curie discovering many components in nuclear science (radium & polonium) had an effect on her family life, and thus effected these families. During her non-stop interaction with innovating nuclear aspects, she forgone her relationships she had with her daughter. As said in the book, Marie never had a strong relationship with her family until her daughter (Irene), both entered into WWI as nurses. Her lack of companionship with her daughter was due to her discovery of nuclear ingredients that eventually had an effect on families of Chernobyl. The determination of Marie Curie discovering nuclear components, and the result of them, both took a large toll on Marie Curie relationship with her daughter, and the families affected of Chernobyl.
For my second blog post, I wanted to pick a picture that incorporated what my topic is, family displacement, and the disaster that took place at Chernobyl. Out of all pictures I’ve seen related to the disaster, this one is the most powerful image I’ve seen. It shows a doll, a broken doll with a gas mask laying on top of it. Symbolizing the importance of how family displacement at the time of the disaster. It was incredibly hard, and stressful that families had no other way to inhale their future. I recently looked up some statistics of the Chernobyl disaster, and some were incredibly shocking. Today, “the Chernobyl accident was equivalent to 500 nuclear bombs detonating at Hiroshima in 1945, and the disaster touch more than 17 million lives. Whether that was contaminating humans, or making people pick up their lives and move away from the zones of radiation. To this very day, 1.8 million people living in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, are still defined as “contaminated””. (Chernobyl Facts, 2010) The disaster happened nearly 30 years ago, and people are still suffering from radiation, and are living with the consequences. This picture also speaks volume in relation to my last post of bumper cars, which I said represented family life outside the home. This picture represents now both, out and inside the living quarters of these families.
The affiliation between “Radioactive” and this picture, is somewhat along the lines of my second post. How Marie Curie’s discovery of nuclear elements affected her relation between her daughter, and the result of how families of Chernobyl received that same consequence. Marie never had a strong relationship with her daughter during her daughter’s childhood, and children of Chernobyl did not have a strong relationship with their ability to grow and become stronger as individuals. In other words, families at Chernobyl paid the ultimate price of this disaster. The picture shows a doll and a gas mask, and together the gas mask outweighs the doll in terms of how it affected the families. The doll shows happiness and the innocence of a child, but the gas mask shows death, and evilness. As said by Mikhail Balonov the Chernobyl Forum scientific secretary in relation to the psychological effect of children and their families, “they are doomed, some live in fear, while others pursue a devil-may-care lifestyle: eating mushrooms and berries from contaminated soil, abusing alcohol, or engaging in unprotected promiscuous sex.” (Stone, 2010) If picking up their lives and moving wasn’t enough, the aftermath was something no one ever expected. As some children became unstable, as most were extremely depressed and their only outlet was being a rebel.
Going off of my last blog post, I focused mainly on how children were affected by this disaster. I showed a picture with a gas mask and a doll laying on top of each other. The picture is extremely powerful, as it shows innocence and evil meeting one another. In result, evil won and has been winning since. The next picture I have to express shows a classroom with a mural of the Simpsons. Ironically enough the picture shows a family enjoying the outdoors with two nuclear reactors off in the background. In relation to my topic of family displacement the picture fits right in. After years and years of breaking down the city due to weather, outsiders, and the radiation the mural still stands colorful and all. Which again is interesting enough to say the least, because ever since the disaster family life have not been, colorful. Today, “Children born since 1986 are affected by a 200 percent increase in birth defects and a 250 percent increase in congenital birth deformities” and “More than one million children continue to live in contaminated zones.” (Facts & Figures, 2012) Innocence children in the contaminated areas are being brought into a world with a disadvantage. They haven’t even took a breath of fresh air and they already have deadly health issues that are not curable. Not only have the children been affected but also their parents, and their financial status. In the radioactive areas “1.7 million live in poverty, and 178,000 of these live in ‘extreme poverty’” (Facts & Figures, 2012) The result of the disaster left many people to pick up their lives and literally be thrown into a life that was doomed from the start. They left their steady paying job and food on the table every night to a miserable daily struggle on when they’ll be eating next. In total, the cost for the country of Belarus cost them 235 billion dollars, which could have gone to many other things. Like education, health services, and building a stronger infrastructure. All of these facts about health issues and living in poverty shows how family displacement is the absolute vial action that could ever be placed on a family. Due to the facts that the result left entire bloodline of people in despair and misery.
Marie Curie had to same type of effect that happen to this families as well. Through the creation and death of nuclear materials. Her daughter Irene died of Leukemia at the age of 58, needless to say the prime catalyst of her illness came from the exposure of radioactive materials. What happened to the Curie family also happened to the families that were in the Chernobyl disaster. The exposure left both families in different time periods the same result. Death. Not so much for families at Chernobyl but ever since the disaster they are slowly dying each and every day due to the conditions they are in. Just like how in the book Marie and Irene exposure to radioactive materials slowly killed them every day, is also happening to Chernobyl families.
For my final blog post I choose an image that would connect all my previous posts, but in a very serious manner. I choose to define and research the effects of family displacement among the families of Chernobyl and how that has changed not only their life, but their own generations to come. From the bumper cars, to the doll, and finally the classroom with the mural of the Simpsons, the same message that I have been trying to convey is present. I choose a picture of a Mary Go Round to summarize the effects of family displacement and what it meant to these families. The Mary Go Round symbolizes peace and harmony within the boundaries of family entertainment, but this isn’t an ordinary Mary Go Round, this once main attraction in this square is rusted and has been depleting all these years. And that same effect that is happening to that Mary Go Round is also happening to the families affected by the radioactive fallout. For example, in Belarus “85 percent of Belarusian children are deemed to be Chernobyl victims: they carry “genetic markers” that could affect their health at any time and can be passed on to the next generation.” (Facts & Figures, 2012) This is just one of many family displacement effects that will, and steadily affect that lives of millions for as long as they live. Not to mention that in Ukraine“6,000 children are born every year with genetic heart defects. More than 3,000 will die for lack of medical attention.” (Facts & Figures, 2012) Since there is a lack of medically trained people in countries affected by Chernobyl, many children and adults are left to die. They are being thrown away like garbage because the help needed isn’t there and most likely never will be. In relation to the book, the concept is nearly the same. In each and every waking second Marie Curie was involved with radioactive materials she was slowly dying. The Mary Go Round represents Curie and the families, the main source was the Chernobyl fallout that made both parties wither away into darkness. Ever since the creation of radium and polonium for Curie, she slowly crippled away into a death that was certain, and same for her daughter. Marie and Irene both died fairly young, due to the constant involvement with this materials. And in result, left many families the same impact that these materials had on the Curies. Which was ultimately a disadvantaged and malicious life.
The ethical argument I choose to describe my topic is the Common Good Approach. Within this approach it states that it deals with the welfare of everyone and the quality of life they are experiencing. Even though the concept is true today, one segment of this approach clearly defines this disaster and family displacement. With that being said the idea of “the minority can suffer, but the majority are ok” describes displacement at Chernobyl perfectly. Many people have suffered from this disaster but most of the people affected have gone on to live healthy lives and persevered to success. Not all families can say this, but a majority can. Even though this disaster touch the lives of more than 17 million people, the families of that many people has sawed out new ways to live a healthy and pure life. This approach not only describes my topic, but has what my topic entails. The Common Good Approach clearly defines my topic with the simply concept of how it deals with the wellness of people. Including how it deals with how if some are lost in the battle to cure their wounds for life, then prosperity will regain footing again in the city of Chernobyl.
Chernobyl Facts. (2010). Retrieved from Chernobyl Statistics and Facts: http://www.chernobyl.com.ua/
Facts & Figures. (2012). Retrieved from Chernobyl Children International : http://www.chernobyl-international.com/about-chernobyl/facts-and-figures
Stone, R. (2010, April). Inside Chernobyl. Retrieved from National Geographic: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2006/04/inside-chernobyl/stone-text/1