LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

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Masters Talks: Robin Schwarz – “I am an animal groupie.”

Robin Schwartz knows the name of every animal she’s ever photographed; and by that, we don’t mean the horned owl, albino kangaroo or fennec fox, but Alfonso the turkey, Shiba the elephant and Jacob the sphinxcat. She takes us on a fantastical journey with her daughter Amelia—a young girl who constantly challenges her mother by demanding her to have experiences with animals. Sometimes surreal with odes to Frida Kahlo or Salvador Dali, she mostly gives her daughter the choice of how she would like to be portrayed with the chosen animal(s).

Her photographs document inter-species relationships, but most importantly they are meant to be a legacy to her daughter and a form of therapy. We accompany the two them on the road to maturity. At the end of her mother’s talk, Amelia comes onstage and shares with us her passion for koko.org, a foundation that is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of gorillas. It seems that she is on the right path, a path that is defined by her innate connection to animals—thanks to her mother.

(by Catherine Bischoff)

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