Last spring I had two trips within ten 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 personal styles and looks, I was wondering, how come during the few days I spent there, never once I’d noticed any some kind of sneery looks or comments between those people who dare to be different?

I’ve visited many multicultural cities before, but this type of thoughts have never crossed my mind before. Amsterdam, in particular, seemed to be 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 wild animal walking wouldn’t bother anybody too much here, as long as it minded its own business,” this is, pretty much, how the street photography 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 the now non-existing country of Soviet Union. A nation, 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 raised in a slightly more tolerant society.

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