On June 24, IRIS outreach convened the third meeting of the IRIS Virtual Film Club, a group that consists of educators from around Wisconsin, as well as outreach staff from UW-Madison’s federally-funded area-studies centers.
Prior to the on-line gathering, participants watched the short documentary, “The Lethal Soviet Legacy in Kazakhstan.” This film documents the extensive environmental damage the Soviet nuclear bomb-testing program in Kazakhstan left on the region. It also addresses the on-going environmental harm this region is experiencing from a Russian rocket-testing facility in the same area of the country. (The movie can be accessed @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8trAZwlyGNs)
Dr. Andy Bruno, of Northern Illinois University, who studies both Russia and environmental history, provided background on the Soviet and Russian testing programs in Kazakhstan. He answered questions and moderated a very lively discussion among the group of twenty-three participants.
“It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to discuss the film and nuclear issues in Kazakhstan with the group. Participants raised many good questions and offered astute observations about the environmental situation in Central Asia historically and today,” said Dr. Bruno.