Last spring I had two trips within 10 days or so, first to Amsterdam, Holland, then to London, UK. While watching the people of all the different cultures and nationalities, with all sorts of extravagant outfits and looks, I was wondering, how come during the few days I spent there, never once I’d noticed any sort of sneery looks or comments between those different people?

I’ve visited many multicultural cities before, but this type of thoughts have never crossed my mind before. Amsterdam in particular seemed to me the place, with the least level of intimidation between people, based on how a person looks like, or where he comes from. I had this thought: “a hairy beast walking wouldn’t bother anybody too much here, as long as it minded it’s own business”, this is, pretty much, how idea for “The Zoo” series came.

Why do I have this type of thoughts anyway (tolerance between different people is, or at least is supposed to be, a common thing in civilized society)? I was born and raised in Lithuania, a former republic of now non-existing country of Soviet Union. A country, where everybody standing out of grey mass was completely legally bullied or even persecuted by the state. Having experienced the dark side of being outside of that “happy community”, while growing, and being in the distance of some 25 years from those days, I am thinking, what kind of person would I be, having been grown in a slightly more tolerant society.

Technical side of the series: I’ve been “shooting” streets since 2008, and the series contain photos taken in London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam. Most of the images are made of two single shots- the street scene and the animal, obviously. Some street scenes have some minor recompositioning, made for the sake of the general composition.