If you took the city of Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it you would be amazed at the animals that fall out: badgers, wolves, boa constrictors, crocodiles, ostriches, baboons, capybaras, wild boars, leopards, manatees, ruminants, in untold numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that that feral giraffes and feral hippos have been living in Tokyo for generations without seeing a soul.
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Katrine Claassens

On The Nature of Cities

Published by Katrine Claassens

Katrine Brink Claassens was born in South Africa in 1985. She studied Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and after graduating lived between Quebec and France developing her artistic practice before moving back to South Africa in 2012. In 2015 she completed her Masters degree in Climate Change and Sustainable Development at UCT in 2015, where she engaged with subjects that inform the environmental concerns in her art. She works in the mediums of oil painting, video, poetry, and drawing, bearing witness to the unprecedented environmental changes of the Anthropocene. The main themes of her work grapple with climate change, urban ecology (particularly that of suburbs), solastalgia, edge species, and crass internet memes.

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  1. Hi Katrine. I love your tale. I have such similar memories. Based in Cape Town now, but how I miss my lush garden in Jhb. We often have parrots visiting, I hear they escaped from the zoo.

  2. This is a deeply beautiful work, Katrine. Somehow, reading it helps me feel at ease, as though somewhere in this chaos, there is a path to being partners again with other animals in this nature. Thank you 🙂

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