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Chilling Cinemagraphs Document The Chernobyl Aftermath

An animated GIF-guided tour through the radioactive wasteland, for those who would rather not visit.

There is perhaps no better way to depict post-catastrophic Chernobyl's drop-in-a-bucket desolation than through the constrained power of the cinemagraph. Through a collection of haunting, minute movements, creative director and filmmaker Christiaan Welzel depicts the world’s most notorious disaster zone—a place seldom frequented—as never before.

About a year ago, Wezel and his wife traveled to Pripyat, the nearby town where most of the plant’s workers lived, to capture video footage for an upcoming launch of their WEWANNAGO travel diaries. (An amazing side note: tourists can now gain access to the surrounding exclusion zone through tour operators). They’ve been editing over four hours of captured Chernobyl footage since then, but have yet to release the final product. In the meantime, the duo have decided to churn up interest by releasing collections of cinemagraphs.

Below, the astounding cinemagraphs of Welzel’s first collection reveal the exclusion zone as the time capsule it’s become, including such relics as the flapping Soviet flag.