Chernobyl's Sixth Sense: The Symbolism of an Ever-Present Awareness



This article examines the symbolic life of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I argue that Chernobyl symbols serve as a set of resources: they produce memory, and they are the grounds for making a new society. My analyses are based on representations of Chernobyl in academic and popular discourse, literature, and museums. Through discussions of embodiment and collective memory, I argue that Chernobyl has produced a sort of sixth sense or “awareness-plus” among those who share the experience of the disaster.