Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020

Published In

Chernobyl: Nuclear Narratives And The Environment


The Reactor Room: An Immersive Chernobyl Exhibition is a digital installation featuring the work of students in Professor José Vergara’s course Chernobyl: Nuclear Narratives and the Environment (Spring 2020) at Swarthmore College. Students designed this interactive exhibition to facilitate public engagement with the catastrophe. Students researched topics of their own choosing and produced outward-facing digital projects that investigate diverse aspects of Chernobyl’s cultural, environmental, social, and political consequences: maps that visually trace the radioactive fallout; biographies of key figures who experienced, survived, and perpetrated one of the worst nuclear disasters in history; audio-based works that engage with the sounds, silences, and songs associated with Chernobyl; a virtual tour of street art in Pripyat; annotated poetry translations; timelines and StoryMaps that trace Chernobyl's effects on flora, fauna, and culture, among many others. Individually, these projects are snapshots that reflect the fragmented narratives and memories of Chernobyl. Together, they invite readers to become an active participant in the study of Chernobyl’s mythology.

Funding Agency

Swarthmore College Provost Office


Professor José Vergara was awarded a Digital Humanities Curricular Grant from the Provost's Office for use in his spring 2020 course, Chernobyl: Nuclear Narratives and the Environment (RUSS/LITR 43). The course syllabus, assignment instructions, and resulting virtual exhibition are made freely available here courtesy of the author.