Fledgling furry communities spread their wings at Eurofurence
With so many of the furry fandom's largest conventions originating in the USA, it tends to dominate global discussions of furry culture. In Europe, Germany stands as a major centre of the furry fandom with multiple conventions and events being held within its borders. But, for many other countries, the furry fandom is much smaller, or may just be starting out and is consequentially less visible.
Last August, furs from all over Europe and beyond gathered in Berlin for Eurofurence, the largest furry convention outside of North America. Between all the
furpiles and yiffing fursuit walks, art shows and other activities, some furs took the opportunity to speak about their own furry communities and the challenges faced with starting up the furry fandom in a country where it previously didn't exist.
Tarkan on Turkey furry fandom
The first talk was given by Tarkan the Wolf, a UK-born Turkish fur who has spent the last five or six years trying to establish the furry community in Turkey. As described in the Eurofurence programme:
Tarkan the Wolf has invested time in building up a furry community in Turkey. He wants to show the audience what he achieved so far and what is planned for this start-up community in the future. The project started around 5 years ago and was promoted to the Anime fandom first as well as to "geeky/nerdy" young people in the country. Future plans include local furmeets beginning next year and the very first Turkish furry convention in 2020 taking place in Istanbul. Hear every interesting fact about it in this talk!
The following month, Tarkan was also interviewed on the South Afrifur podcast.
Rakuen on South African furry fandom
I gave the second talk, covering my own experiences in the furry fandom and covering the growth of the furry fandom in South Africa. It was actually the second time I gave the talk as I had presented a draft version at Lakeside Furs 10 after Unci offered me an event slot. Although there were only about 40 furs at LSF, three had been to South Africa, not counting myself, and one was dating a South African!
The official description of the talk was:
Have you ever wondered how other people have joined the furry fandom? Or what it is like in different countries? Although [adjective][species] covered a number of "foreign" furry fandoms in a series of articles, it did not include South Africa. This talk is an opportunity to learn about how the furry fandom developed in an isolated corner of the world.
We will follow the fandom's history through two perspectives. First, following Rakuen Growlithe's discovery of the furry fandom and growing involvement and, second, the formation and growth of ZA Furries, the South African furry forum. You will learn what you have in common with furs from South Africa, what's different, the challenges of holding a furry convention, what causes problems for websites and how the fandom is starting to influence the rest of the furry world.