Benera and Estefan
Warsaw Wild Life: Notes
Artist book and research project

Austor: Anca Benera
Publisher: Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw
Editors: Marianna Dobkowska, Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka, Anna Ptak
ISBN: 978-83-61156-02-4

It is known that a number of birds and mammals colonize our cities—seemingly more comfortable there than in their native habitats. While some are easily noticed, others go completely unbeknownst to us.
In Warsaw Wild Life: Notes, Anca Benera presents the product of research carried out during a residency in Warsaw. There, she documented the urban presence of wild animals—or hearsay of them—from stories, legends, or reports. Combining the methods of anthropology, science, and journalism, the artist collects notes, press clippings, and photographs on these wild creatures.

One of the chapters investigates the Guziec warthog—thought to have disappeared from Warsaw in 1996—who was kept in quarantine until being shipped to a zoo in San Diego, California. The Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza had published many articles on the incident, also Polityka and Der Spiegel, characterizing the Guziec’s flight as an act of patriotism. The Wall Street Journal called the warthog “a symbol of rebellion and freedom.” A documentary film was dedicated to Guziec. The wild African pig became a Polish hero. In any case, one Warsaw street from Ursynow district - Guzca, now bears its name.