Wildest Dreams

Manuela Kulpa’s African Souls Series Accentuates The Wilderness in Zoo Life

African souls: XIII
Created as a result of her respectful love for animals, as well as her curiosity about their mysterious behaviours, photographer Manuela Kulpa’s series on African zoo animals, entitled African Souls, brings a new dimension to their habitats.

She focuses on the subjects with a Tele-zoom lens, in combination with an open aperture. ‘The result is that highly occurring cage grids are nearly completely faded out,’ Manuela explained to us at The Plus. ‘After that a “clear field of fire” is established so you can try to get a shot at the right moment, which is however usually a little tricky.’

African souls: I
Lions, monkeys and elephants are caught in the perfect moments, at points when they are most comfortable in their artificial habitats. African Souls is an ongoing project and Manuel plans to combine her love of surrealism and animals in future project.

Manuela talks zoos, animal welfare and respect for our fellow creatures:

The Plus: How do you feel about zoos?
Manuela Kulpa:
That’s an ambivalent topic. Zoos can make contributions to preserving biodiversity. On the other hand, we often ask ourselves how we can guarantee the correct animal housing and handling in zoos. Animal welfare and health as well as endangered species protection, is a very big subject and can’t be discussed in a few words.

TP: What kind of conversations do you hope they inspire?
Our fellow creatures feel pleasure and affection as well as fear and sadness. My pictures are my own way to draw attention to the importance of environmental protection, animal welfare and species survival. Every contribution, even the smallest, can ensure the survival of our fantastic fellow creatures and our environment

TP: What drives you?
The animal and its individuality are at the heart of my way of finding my pictures. I want to place gracefulness and expressiveness of our fellow creatures in the foreground to show that animals are sentient beings. The animals come to the foreground, not the technique, not the place and not the date.

African souls: III
African souls: IV
African souls: VIII
African souls: XII
African souls: XIV
African souls: XV
African souls: XVII
African souls: XIX
African souls: XX