Who will survive in post-apocalyptic Moscow?

Vladimir Manyukhin / https://www.artstation.com/mvn78Vladimir Manyukhin
On Aug. 12, 2017 the streets of Moscow were plagued by radiation. Not for real, of course. It was all part of the immersive post-apocalyptic festival Aftertown and RBTH presents you its coolest show stealers.

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

What looks like a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road (and a very realistic Immortan Joe) is actually a post-apocalyptic festival in Moscow. Members of After Us, a post-apocalypse sci-fi club, have been organizing festivals and inviting enthusiasts since 2013, and this one has attracted a lot of attention from fans of the genre.

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

Sergei (pictured), has been long interested in post-apocalyptic worlds. His costume, as he told RBTH, was partly based on the video game series Fallout. In this world, the only survivors of nuclear war cannot breathe the polluted air and have to use special capsules with trees that produce oxygen. 

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

He worked on his costume for about a month, creating it during the evenings after work. Last year Sergei was a participant of the same festival, but didn’t have a chance to get prepared in advance. 

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

This is the third time the festival has taken place in Russia. The organizers explain that Russians have a special relationship with the idea of post-apocalyptic worlds and it’s not just about the Mad Max or Fallout franchises. Soviet science fiction, which mainly comprises the Strugatsky brothers’ novels, plus works by Alexei Tolstoi and Alexander Belyaev, became a burgeoning milieu for Western sci-fi movies and computer games, and resulted in the phenomenal “Metro 2033” novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

“This festival is so unique,” says Anastasia, Sergei’s sister. There are many concerts and shows in Moscow, but for a person always on the lookout for “something new,” Aftertown is “set apart from other festivals.”

 Ilya Ogarev Ilya Ogarev

Many worlds collided during the festival. There were zombies, rogues, crazy scientists and time travelers. This particular costume is a character known as a “knothead” from the latest season of Doctor Who, a fan-loved and well-known TV series produced by the BBC since 1963. 

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

This Khajiit from The Elder Scrolls universe totally stole the show. Anatoly, the man behind the fluffy mask, explains that his character came into possession of a very powerful manuscript and since then has to travel to different worlds with his electro pneumatic AK-74.

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

However, the amazing costumes were not the be-all and end-all. The festival is renowned for its immersiveness. Anatoly and everyone else RBTH talked to admit that this is the first and only festival in Russia that uses immersive methods. 

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

Both the territory and its inhabitants were divided into special zones and even castes, heavily influenced by the world of Fallout. Every visitor could choose who they wanted to be by completing a mission and collecting a fixed number of shells, which were then used as hard currency. One of its organizers, Vasily Kudryavtsev, is sure that “the immersive part of the festival will be developed and look more refined” in the future. “This is just the beginning,” he added.

Ilya OgarevIlya Ogarev

Chro (on the right, pictured with Vasily), thinks that “the festival was fantastic.” Being an experienced role player, she created her outfit from scratch and describes it as a person who left the mutated forest. “Anyone can easily make a costume and understand what’s happening,” she explains. The festival can only be compared to “euphoria — like a New Year in August,” she says.

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