Nuclear map of Great Britain 26/4/86

Young, Nicholas (2016) Nuclear map of Great Britain 26/4/86. [Artefact]

Abstract

Nuclear Map of Great Britain 26/4/86 is an artefact that represents all the Nuclear Power Stations that were operating in Great Britain on 26th April 1986. They are represented by the 50-mile exclusions zones that would be imposed in the event of a nuclear meltdown. Research Process: Young visited Chernobyl in April 2016 as part of the 26:86 Collective. He wanted to see the site of the disaster first hand and investigate if the reported death toll was true. During the visit, he spoke to people who lived and worked there, resulting in the aim to create a new piece that could make their story more relevant to an audience in Great Britain. The locations of Britain’s nuclear reactors operating in 1986 were identified and a map designed to show their locations. The map was constructed in Illustrator and extensive experimentation was undertaken to create the most appropriate colour, tone and weight of line. Research insights: Young used his Reductionist Manifesto to tell this story. What is absent from this ‘map’ are the large swaths of Great Britain that would be uninhabitable for over 250,000 years in the event of a meltdown. The significant areas are absent from the ‘map’. When undertaking the initial research, Young was shocked to discover how few of his colleagues knew of the disaster. As a result, he created something that brought the story closer to the audience, so that they could put themselves in the place of the residents of Pripyat. He also discovered that he was misinformed about the death-toll. It was not 31 at all. It was ‘32’. Dissemination: 26:86 Collective Exhibition, House of Blah Blah, 2nd December 2016 - 12th January 2017, Exchange House, Middlesbrough. 26:86 Collective Exhibition, Hartlepool Art Gallery, 9th September - 11th November 2017, Church Square, Hartlepool. 26:86 Collective Exhibition, ‘Palace of Culture’ in the abandoned city of Pripyat in Ukraine, 7th April 2017.

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