Living in the dead zone of Chernobyl: Holly Morris at TEDGlobal 2013

TED Blog

Holly Morris tells the stories of women through documentary, television, print and the web. One story she certainly didn’t expect stemmed from a reporting trip to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. She just wanted to get out of the contaminated zone as quickly as possible … and then she noticed smoke rising from a farmhouse somewhere in the background. “How was this possible?” she wondered. Who could be living here? Chernobyl’s soil, water and air are among the most contaminated on earth. No human beings should live in the Dead Zone.

And yet some do. Despite the draconian rules and regulations that govern the area, a community of some 200 “self-settler” women (they are mostly all women) continue to live illegally in the otherwise deserted ghost villages around Chernobyl. As one of them explained to a soldier trying to evacuate her after the nuclear…

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