Stray felines steal the limelight in Jordan Yerman's Street Cat Project
Vancouver Observer writer Jordan Yerman, famous for his Game of Thrones reviews and colourful coverage of civic politics, will be presenting at the BIL conference on street cat photography this Saturday. BIL is an alternative version of the TED conference, which makes incredible local speakers available to the public, without a thousand-dollar ticket.
Yerman is fascinated by feral cats. He loves photographing them, scraggly fur, scowling faces and all. But why does he want to photograph strays, instead of pampered house cats like Maru or Bub or the "grumpy cat"?
"If I had a nickel for everyone who asked me that, I’d have around $11.55," Yerman joked.
"The street cats actually found me: I photographed my first in Haifa, Israel in 2011." Once he noticed one, he realized they were everywhere. And while other people ignored them, he kept documenting them wherever he went, in countries like Iceland and Japan as well as locally in Vancouver.
"I was drawn to them because they’re a tiny marginalized population, living in a built environment not meant for them, that doesn’t really care about them," he said. "Feral cats are not conditioned to spending time with humans. Most aren’t crazy about the sound of a camera shutter. They can also vanish in the blink of an eye, ninja-style. These factors make them challenging subjects."
In addition to his street cat photography project, Yerman is also finishing a bilingual book in English and Japanese, Neko no Daiji, telling a narrative about a cat who turns human and goes in search of her master in the cold streets of Tokyo, Japan.
Pre-registration to attend BIL, at the Imperial at 319 Main St., is recommended. For more information, see 2015.bilconference.com.
Check out the full BIL program here.