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Twenty years after the Chernobyl disaster, Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich, author of Voices from Chernobyl, talks to Sonja Zekri (over at Sign and Sight) about the new face of evil and the lessons to be learned from the reactor catastrophe:


Svetlana Alexievich is obsessed by Chernobyl. For years she has travelled to the "zone", the radioactive area, talking with firemen and soldiers, with "liquidators" who cleared out the radioactive rubble from the ruins of the power plant, with survivors and people who have returned to their homes. Her findings are collected in a book, Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. It is an echolocation of the catastrophe. Svetlana Alexievich, who was born in Ukraine and grew up in Belarus, lives in Sweden. We have yet to understand Chernobyl, she says. It is a foreign text.

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