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The Last Word With Matt Cooper

Chernobyl Survivor Speaks Out Against Disaster Tourism

HBO's Chernobyl miniseries has been a huge success, resulting in an increase in tourism to the site...
Sarah Stacey
Sarah Stacey

6:32 PM - 20 Jun 2019



The Last Word With Matt Cooper

Chernobyl Survivor Speaks Out Against Disaster Tourism

Sarah Stacey
Sarah Stacey

6:32 PM - 20 Jun 2019

Listen to this episode



HBO's Chernobyl miniseries has been a huge success, resulting in an increase in tourism to the site of the nuclear disaster.

However, tourists have been spotted taking selfies there, which many have deemed disrespectful.

We spoke to Raisa Carolan, a survivor of the Chernobyl disaster, about her thoughts on this new wave of dark tourism.

Raisa was born in Belarus in 1993, several years after the disaster occurred. She was born with various medical conditions as a result of the ongoing radiation, and her parents abandoned her at birth.

She spent much of her childhood in orphanages before coming to Ireland through the Chernobyl Children International programme, and was adopted aged ten by a family in Meath.

She says that, had she not been adopted in Ireland, "I probably wouldn't even be alive."

Although Raisa feels an interest in Chernobyl's history is a good thing, she thinks that taking selfies there is inappropriate.

"It's great that we have this interest in people going over, but I think people might be taking it to an extreme level by going over for entertainment purposes."

"It's disrespectful because a lot of people died over there."

Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.


Read more about

Chernobyl Dark Tourism Nuclear Disaster Raisa Carolan

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