Happy Animals: Eurofurence 2014 Berlin
Furry Fandom Takes Over Neukölln
Before I’ll explain what this is actually about let me tell you that there is not much in this world thats better for your mood than being hugged by half a dozen strangers in cute, fluffy animal costumes. I can’t remember when I had so much fun taking pictures. It’s been two hours since I left Eurofurence’s venue (Hotel Estrel in Neukölln) and still I can’t stop grinning like a madman.
Picture-Gallery from Eurofurence 2014 in Berlin
Here are “some” of todays pictures (even though my autofocus didn’t work properly so some of them might be a bit blurry)
Ok, let’s back up a bit. What the heck is eurofurence? Eurofurence is an annual convention of Furries, already in its 20th installement this year. Furries are anthropomorphic animals and fans thereof. Meaning animals with human characteristics, Think Donald Duck or the Ninja Turtles but with fur – and way cooler. Being born from Fantasy- and Sci-Fi-Fandom a lot of furries are very creative when it comes to expressing their love for furry animals. Comics, Novels, animation – or they creates costumes. But it doesn’t stop with that either, these characters get a story and background by their impersonators. Thats probably the biggest difference to “regular” cosplayers. These critters are really unique and an extension of their creator’s personality.
As someone who spends a lot of time procrastinating online there aren’t many memes that escape my occasional boredom. So I’m always very excited when suddenly there’s something that I haven’t really heard before. So I was really surprised to find out, that Furry fandom is a real thing with thousands of active people, where some even made it their profession. Since not everyone has the time or skill to make their own costume there are specialists who do that for you. Prices for a fur can go up to 5.000 €, while the average person still spends above 1.000 €. Interestingly there is even a market for characters, which might not be more than a single drawing, a name and 3-word-vita. Whether bought or created, you see a lot of people with just a small stuffed animal or some kind of sock-puppet with a nametag.
Not every one of the 2.000+ Participants of eurofurence 2014 has a costume though judging by the people I have been able to talk to and the non-costumed attendants I would guess the majority of the community is between their early 20s and mid-30s. Motivations and the heights to which Furries take their fandom is as diverse as their costumes. Some just like to dress up, some try to express a side of their personality they are to shy to express otherwise, some really wish animals could talk and wear suits, some really just love the feeling of fake fur, although I guess it get’s really hot and uncomfortable in these things after a while. What unites them all is an incredibly friendly demeanor and the positive vibes they all give off.