Ukrainian Contemporary Drama about a Nuclear Apocalypse

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Humanities

Year: 2022



Ukrainian Contemporary Drama about a Nuclear Apocalypse

Kinga Anna Gajda



In the second half of the twentieth century, the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, speaking of recreating apocalyptic situations such as the Holocaust, proposed considering them as “representations in parentheses”. This concept reminded of the limitations of the ways of recreating a reality that becomes uncontrolled and is not subject to any external understanding. Seeing the Holocaust as one of the greatest tragedies of humanity, the meaning of which is difficult to comprehend, Levinas, instead of creating apocalyptic images of the end, that is, “full” history and “true” representation of tragic events, calls to show it as an “impenetrable gulf” – like a “hole in history” which cannot be overwhelmed with any objective narratives. Similar considerations can be applied to ecocide, which is sometimes compared in eco-humanism to genocide. The explosion of the Chornobyl power plant is undoubtedly such an ecocide.
The Chornobyl disaster is reflected as an event with a traumatic overtone, and “Chernobyl” becomes a word symbol of postmodern contemporaneity that follows the catastrophe.
The aim of the article is to discuss the way in which the Chornobyl nuclear apocalypse is currently interpreted in the Ukrainian drama.

keywords: apocalypse, Chornobyl, heritage, nuclear, Ukrainian drama.