Influencers Have Jumped On The 'Chernobyl' Bandwagon And Are Sharing Offensive Shots

The HBO has led to an influx of tourists to the ghost city of Pripyat, bringing out the worst in some visitors.

Opportunistic. Stupid. Disrespectful. Those are just some of the adjectives used to describe the photos taken by Instagrammers in the city of Pripyat. For those of you who aren't familiar with the name, the city is located in the area affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Since then, Pripyat has become a ghost city, devoid of inhabitants... but more and more tourists are now arriving in a quest for likes, if the recent online controversy is anything to go by.

Recently, series lovers have been blown away by Chernobyl, a five-episode HBO mini-series which looks back on the nuclear disaster in an almost documentary style. A victim of its own success, the program is reported to have contributed to a 35% rise in tourism to the deserted city of Pripyat. Tourists have arrived to explore the city in a practice termed "dark tourism", which has given rise to a lot of disturbing photos.

Posing in a faux artistic manner or smiling broadly for a selfie in front of Pripyat's rusty theme park, tourists have been criticized by internet users for their inappropriate behavior. First prize goes to an Instagram user who goes by the name of @nz.nik, who didn't hesitate to pose half-naked on the Chernobyl site. The snapshot displays a complete lack of awareness: while the area is safe to visit overall, visitors must be clothed from head to food and carry a dosimeter to check radiation levels. 

Craig Mazin, screenwriter on Chernobyl, has said he's happy that his mini-series has encouraged tourism to the region... but, like us, he's disappointed to see these disturbing images from Instagrammers. "If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there", he emphasized in a tweet"Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed." Sadly, it seems that this reminder is hugely necessary.


Article translated by: Eleanor Staniforth

By Florian Ques, published on 13/06/2019