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For the last three years, American photographer Arthur Drooker has been to a dozen conventions across the country, photographing some of the quirkiest gatherings such as mermaids, clowns, Santas, fetishists and Lincoln look-alikes. Yet, he has barely begun. According to one estimate, America olds a staggering 1.8 million conventions, conferences, and trade shows every year. That’s nearly 5,000 conventions every day! These unusual gatherings allow like-minded people to congregate, bond, and express themselves.

“Regardless of what they’re about, where they’re held or who attends them, all conventions satisfy a basic human urge: a longing for belonging,” says Arthur Drooker. “At conventions, people who share similar interests, even obsessions, come together to bond and to be themselves without fear, apology or explanation. The outside world doesn’t matter. In fact, for the weekend duration of most conventions, the outside world doesn’t even exist.”

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Association of Lincoln Presenters, Natchez, Mississippi, 2014.

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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