One year after the catastrophe of Chernobyl, in the summer of 1987, I traveled to Sweden and to the southern part of Switzerland, the Ticino. These areas were heavily contaminated by fallout from Chernobyl. There I studied the offspring of true bugs irradiated by rain when the radioactive cloud from Chernobyl hit Sweden in April 1986 and the Ticino in May. Though scientists had downplayed any risks to living beings from the Chernobyl fallout, I wanted to see for myself whether the radiation had caused the true bugs any harm. The sight of the disturbed true bugs I found in these areas shocked me to the core. I had to bring what I had detected into the open. In the Ticino I also collected three pairs of Drosophila melanogaster flies that I then bred in my kitchen, using the same food that the university used. I protocolled four generations of flies. (Each generation needs three weeks to grow.)


Drosophila melanogaster, head and abdomen, Ticino, 1. genenration
Color Sketch, Zürich 1987
Head and abdomen are disturbed


Drosophila melanogaster, head and abdomen, Switzerland