Krakówò Zimōwō – hic sunt dracones

It was a very unusual convention for me. Krakówò Zimōwō was a furry con and not being a fury myself, I didn’t know what to expect yet I was curious.

Fandom research

For some time I am very interested in the fandom as a whole. I like observing it and I’m trying to understand it. It was one of the reasons why I visited many conventions abroad. So, it should not be a surprise that I developed some interest in the furry fandom. Furry itself is not my thing – I appreciate some of the art (especially where it delves into SFF topics), but that is all. On the other hand, the furry fandom was a terra incognita to me and I was curious how it works and what are its dynamics.

Some time ago I googled to find out what furry conventions are there in Poland. I was able to find a few. Unfortunately, they lasted rather long and costed a lot. It meant that I would have to gamble by using some of my limited days off and spending a lot of money on a convention without being sure whether I’d find anything of interest to me there. So, as time passed, I ended up always deciding to go to another SFF con instead.

Schoolboard with 'Krakowo Chai House' inscription. The board was additionally decorated.
Tea room was one of the Krakówò’s social centers.

And yet this year the stars were right. I mean, there was a furry convention in Krakow, it lasted only two days during the weekend, and it was held in culture centre and not in a hotel. In fact, it was a second edition of it – the previous time I didn’t have the opportunity to attend it. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade furry cons, attend them.

How was the programme?

When it comes to programme, two things are especially worth mentioning. First, there was little programme in general. From my conversations with furries, it seems that they mostly treat programme as an addition to the more central social aspect of the con. My second observation is that the programme was not really concentrated on furry concepts. I was told that there is no particular cultural work that can be put in the core of the furry fandom. Therefore, it is a bit more difficult to build a furry-centric convention programme. I have some ideas for programme items like “How to make your fursuit”, “Is Beastars a furry work?”, and so on. Yet I suppose that these topics were already discussed many times within the fandom.

A person stands behind two desks filled with tea utensils. Person has a small ceramic rabbit on their extended palm. In front of the desks there are four people sitting on chairs.
Feniks during tea brewing workshops.

So how did the programme look like? Well, there were some very loose items like time for drawing or playing VR games. There was a VR tournament, but also “Got Talent”, jam sessions, and even allocated time for DJs to play music (and for others to dance to it). I haven’t seen any panels, but there were a few interesting talks and workshops.

I will allow myself to go into more programme details than I do usually. As it is the first furry con I attended, I am more inclined to give you a better overview of what I saw.

Delving into Saturday programme

The first item I attended was a talk about Furry conventions in Poland and Europe. It was a good starting point for me to understand what other furry cons look like. Krakówò Zimōwō was not a typical con for this fandom (actually, it was an experiment with the form of a furry convention, according to the organizers!). Most of furry events take place in hotels (or some kind of resorts). Also, in Europe, cons are allowing entrance only to people at least 18 years old. For Krakówò Zimōwō, younger folk could come either with their parents or with their written permission.

A room filled with chairs some of them are taken. There is a man stanbding in front of the room. He uses a microphone and there is a presnetation on the screen behind him.
A talk about the Furry conventions. I had to attend this item.

Later, I went to the second half of the tea brewing workshops. I regret missing the first half. It was interesting and I learned a lot. I should probably mention that the workshops took place in a room that was turned into tea house for the duration of the whole convention. Both the room and workshops were led by Feniks, who also took care of chai house at last Imladris. He was also one of the two main organizers of Krakówò.

I missed most of the talk about the storms. I regret missing it, but I had to eat lunch. The last few minutes I caught seemed to be pretty interesting. I can tell that for sure Jakubauke, who gave the talk, is very knowledgeable.

I finished the first day with watching Got Talent. It was not very long, although quite enjoyable. As you can imagine, some people were singing, one person also made a dancing performance in a full fursuit. Feniks gave us a taste on “internet shitposting on the stage”. Yet what I enjoyed the most was a presentation of a plush toy. Green came to the stage and said that he makes plush toys. Then he started the presentation by showing two long pencils. Not very impressive. And then he took the next item and started to combine them…. In the end he showed a masterpiece – it was a space shuttle made out of four elements connected with velcro. I was astonished!

A man shows a plushie Space Shuttle.
Green presenting his amazing Space shuttle. The two ‘pencils’ were in fact solid rocket boosters.


On Sunday I spent less time on programme, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t attend any items. I woke up earlier than I wanted in order to attend a talk about railway in manga and anime. It was lead by Amder, who, similarly to me, is not a furry. I was expecting something slightly different, but the talk gave a lot of insights into how railways are used in M&A.

I later took some time to roam around the con, but I made sure to attend the dactyloscopy workshops. They were a bit shorter than I expected. Workshops consisted of a short theoretical introduction and opportunity to take our own fingerprints. I think that for the future it would be good to show how to collect fingerprints left on an item! I am not sure to what extent such things could be performed easily at a con, but I would love to try it.

A man speaks to the microphone. behind him there is a screen with a presentation.
Presentations on railways in manga & anime.

Then I attended the point called a charity auction. Organizers were not collecting any money themselves, but instead asked to make donations to the local charity for animal help. The auction was quite successful in two dimensions – the amount of donations people made and the amount of joy it brought within the room. It was quite funny, people were willing to bid more and more. over time members of the audience were coming in with additional offers. One DJ agreed to play a Disco Polo set, should the donation be high enough (and it was!). So fans may expect him to play it at one of the next furry cons in Poland.

I think that the auction itself gave me a lot of insights into furry fandom. I managed to see how they behave, what they treasure and how much they can maintain a healthy distance from themselves. As stated, it was quite amusing and enjoyable, but also very educational.

All things have to end

After the auction there was a closing ceremony. It was not long and finished with a call for help in closing the con and cleaning up after it. Many attendees stayed to support organizers in that. We were moving desks, cleaning up the chairs, and so on.

A plushie dragon in front a paper plate. There is a Cleaning Scrub Sponge covered with ink on the plate.
One of the Imladris’ dragons accompanied me during the dactyloscopy workshops. Probably she hoped to meet someone in dragon fursuit, alas it didn’t happen.

It was during this period when I had my only longer discussion about the con. Feniks started to ask me how I enjoyed the con and how I perceive the furry fandom. Another fan (whose name I don’t recall, unfortunately) joined us. We discussed what I expected and what the con looked like. They gave some reasoning as to why it was ran that way. I would prefer to have this talk earlier and not at the very end of Krakówò, yet I am happy it took place at all.

And then I had to go – people were still there finishing the clean-up, but for me the con was finished.

Social aspect

On the social end it was not my best con. I knew almost no one. The only person I knew well was Feniks. There were also two people from KSF who came for a shorter period of time and we had a chance to talk a bit. Apart from them, everyone else was either a complete stranger or a person I have barely known before. I was not sure how to join conversations; I kept thinking that I am an “alien”. Of course no one made me feel that way. It was just my thought.

So, when I wasn’t attending programme items, I was mainly observing or talking to Feniks whenever he had some time. I exchanged a few words with others, but that was it. On one hand, it is bad – I felt a bit as an outsider (technically, I was one). On the other hand, it gave me an opportunity to observe the dynamics of interactions between other people.

People sitting with their eyes closed. Between them there is one person kneeling. Behind them there are three more people - two of them talking to each other, ther other sitting.
Mafia/Werewolf were played more than once.

Comparing to SFF or M&A conventions, there were may similarities. Fans clearly knew themselves well and the atmosphere was very friendly. There were some inside jokes and customs clearly known for everyone involved. It was full of joy and companionship. General vibe I had brought me memories of my early cons. I had the feeling that this is a “younger” fandom, but I am not speaking about the age of members. It was more of my impression of how the dynamics of community worked. It was refreshing, in a way.

There were of course differences when comparing to the cons I usually attend. I think that the biggest one was the amount of physical touch. What I mean by that? A lot of small gestures – people hugging each other, fans in fursuits being open to hug anyone, patting on the head being commonplace, and so on. My impression was that such small gestures are a way of expressing affection, joy from the meeting, and joy in general. I may be wrong here though.

Two people standing on an empty space. One of them speaks to the microphone the other looks at the mobiile phone. Person with a microphone is visible on the screen behind both of them.
Feniks and Komatsu during charity auction.

After the con, I joined the social contact channel of Krakówò. Here I felt a bit more self assured and participated in more discussions. We talked a bit about the fandom and the obstacles we need to face etc. I felt general openness of furry fans towards everyone.

Thoughts on Krakówò

All in all, I enjoyed Krakówò Zimōwō. I learned a lot and I had my curiosity fulfilled. Programme-wise, there were not too many items, but I enjoyed most of the ones I visited. In fact, I was surprised that so many items in the programme were of interest to me.

Having said the above, I must also mention that it is still “not my pair of shoes”. I don’t expect to start travelling regularly to furry cons in Poland and abroad. I think that being interested in the concept of “furry” itself is a prerequisite to fully enjoy such events. Yet, when the next Krakówò will be taking place in Kraków, I suppose I will come again. I even promised to make a programme item about the SFF cons there. Also, by then I won’t be a total stranger anymore; I will recognize some faces (or some furuits!) and probably will feel more comfortable talking to people.

You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.

The next post will appear within three weeks.

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies and to our privacy policy. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.