Cosplay isn't just about cool costumes and pretty pictures.
Maul Cosplay is renowned for his portrayal of Geralt of Rivia. But in his latest shoot as Joel from The Last of Us, he went to Chernobyl to take some truly breathtaking photographs, and send a message about the beauty and fragility of the Earth.
The shoot took place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone — a 2,600 km2 section of Ukraine that surrounds the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which exploded in 1986. To date, it is the worst nuclear disaster that the world has ever suffered.
The site is no stranger to interest. In fact, tourism allegedly became more popular after the abandoned town of Pripyat appeared in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Maul offers his thoughts and reasons behind the shoot in many of the photo descriptions in his Facebook album, in collaboration with fellow cosplayer Maja Felicitas. In addition to remembering the tragedies of the past, he hopes to celebrate nature.
In the album description, Maul addresses whether the shoot is disrespectful to the victims of the Chernobyl disaster. He sees it as an opportunity to remember and educate.
"In my opinion it is way more disrespectful to let these places and events be forgotten. I talked to a lot of people about Chernobyl lately and there were many who didn't know much or even nothing about it. This can not be. Of course we ALSO went to Chernobyl to take the most authentic TLOU pictures we had in mind. I would never fight that."
You can see more from this shoot and Maul's other work at the Maul Cosplay Facebook page.