Zhaodi Wang


Mutual Dependence: Way Back Home to Chernobyl 

Advised by Craig Douglas 

This thesis proposes a living memorial for residents evacuated to the town of Slavutych, Ukraine. Slavutych was originally established in 1986 as a temporary refuge following the nearby Chernobyl nuclear plant catastrophe. The project aspires to reconnect Slavutych residents with their original home across the geographical divide and its high radiation levels, and to allow for a new connection through the landscape. 

By designing a series of landscape interventions including radiation sensing and ground forming, the landscape identity of Chernobyl is decoded, translated, and transferred in relationship to their new home in Slavutych. This project raises questions related to how the landscape could reshape our sense of geography and time, and how sensory technologies enable innovative ways for human beings to engage with nonhuman systems. The project also critically explores the potential of dark tourism to a broader audience of Chernobyl’s no-go landscape, as one of the most popular dark tourism destinations in the world.

Zhaodi Wang, MLA I. Photo of interior of rundown building overgrown with plants and roots.