Seeing the Unseen: The Chernobyl Imprint on the Hungarian Public Sphere

Gabor Sarlos, Marianna Fekete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research article analyzes the influence of the “Chernobyl factor” on the nuclear power discourse in Hungary. Despite its temporal distance, the geographical proxim- ity of the Chernobyl disaster has significantly influenced the lives and perceptions of current Hungarian generations. The research examines two layers of public communi- cation regarding the Chernobyl disaster—political discourse and Hungarian online news media—and matches these with the online representation of the catastrophe. This study finds that despite Chernobyl's significant impact on the cultural memory of Hungarian society, it is considered an event of the past with limited relevance for the future. The contemporary representation of Chernobyl reflects the aspirations and expectations of current society, manifests highly mediatized content, nurtures elements of infotainment, symbolizes danger and negligence, and socially reconstructs meaning through alienation from its original connotation. The Chernobyl factor does not appear significantly in current nuclear discourse in Hungary.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2019

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