When I was a boy, I often skipped classes, finding a hideaway in a nearby zoo. I was part of a larger trend. Maladjusted individuals from neighbourhood schools would stream into that different, enclosed world. They jumped the fence and trailed around, slightly dazed, bearing the cross of their guilt and school “E”s. Sometimes they froze in one position for a very long time. I must have presented a similar sight, just sitting quietly and looking at some creature breathing three feet away from me.

I will never forget that gaze from inside the cage.

Twenty years later, I returned there with a camera. Some of those animals, aged, were still there.

Wrocław Zoo, 2007–2017.