Photo: east.sachsenfurs.de
EAST, also known as EAST-CON, is an annual furry convention held in East Germany. Its name is a reference to the convention’s location and at the same time an acronym for “Episches Abfeiern Streunender Tiere” which translates into English as “Epic Celebration of Stray Animals”.

The furry fandom is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters in works of contemporary pop culture, including books, comics, video games, films, and television shows. Although the tradition of endowing animals with human personalities and characteristics is not new, dating back to old legends and fairy tales, the furry fandom in its modern form emerged in the early 1980s within the sci-fi and fantasy fandom. The first independent furry convention was held in 1989 in the United States.

The first large furry convention in East Germany was Tropicon. It ran in Berlin from 2006 to 2009. Unlike the pan-European Eurofurence also held in Germany, it catered primarily to the German furry community. In 2010, the area where the event operated was converted to a nature reserve, and the organizers had to cancel Tropicon permanently.

A group of activists from the German furry fandom decided to merge several smaller conventions held in East Germany into a single event. That’s how the EAST convention was born. The inaugural event was held from September 8–11, 2011. While Tropicon had been an open-air camping event, EAST 1 took place in a youth hostel. Its program featured a dance party, karaoke, an artist competition, and a game show panel.

EAST has been growing ever since its inception. Its program has been expanded to include more events such as a paper chase, a volleyball tournament, a fursuit parade, an art auction, and more. Since 2013, each edition of EAST-CON has had a theme. Past themes include The Kingdom Far Far Away, Furs in Space, Pirates, and The Lucky Number 7.


Photo: fursuit.timduru.org



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