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The Politics of InvisibilityPublic Knowledge about Radiation Health Effects after Chernobyl$
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Olga Kuchinskaya

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027694

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027694.001.0001

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Waves of Chernobyl Invisibility

Waves of Chernobyl Invisibility

(p.65) 3 Waves of Chernobyl Invisibility
The Politics of Invisibility

Olga Kuchinskaya

The MIT Press

Chapter 3 describes the waves of (in)visibility of Chernobyl-the different framings and degrees of recognition of the temporal and spatial scope of Chernobyl’s consequences-as they appear in the official discourse in mass media: secrecy and silence in 1986-1989, an explosion of media attention to Chernobyl in the last years of the Soviet Union and the first half of the 1990s, and a gradual transformation and narrowing down of the scope of Chernobyl problems thereafter. This chapter provides a historical context for these transformations, and it also considers the double-edged discursive phenomenon of hypervisibility: exaggerated, dramatic, and stereotypical portrayals of radiation effects that were employed by the political opposition in the late 1990s to draw attention to the disappearance of Chernobyl’s consequences in the official discourse and counteract the government strategies of rehabilitating the affected territories.

Keywords:   Chernobyl, official discourse, framing, hypervisibility, political opposition, rehabilitating affected territories

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