Feral children: Beautiful photos portray real-life stories of growing up without human contact

Alex Wheeler

Julia Fullerton-Batten's Feral Children is a series of photos that act as beautiful interpretations of the stories behind children who grew up isolated from human contact from a very young age, with little or no experience of human care, behaviour or language.

Fullerton-Batten chose 15 cases to portray, with no intention of replicating the exact scenes, but to interpret and duplicate the feelings and actions of each feral child living their experience. Her images portray the stories of children such as Oxana Malaya, a Ukrainian girl who was neglected by her parents and grew up surrounded by dogs; Prava, also known as "The Bird Boy", who was raised in a virtual aviary by his mother in Russia; and Rochom P'ngieng (Jungle Girl) who was found in the Cambodian jungle in 2007 having gone missing there in 1989.

"Life is complex, for some more than others, even when we are considering a normal human life. Its complexity varies from one part of the globe to the other. In considering feral children, who are fully human, at least at the start of their lives, how can we not look at my images and question and wonder about the tenacious survival instincts of these human beings," explains Fullerton-Batten.

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Feral Children' is part of FORMAT, the UK's largest photography festival, and will be showing at Deda in Derby from 24 March – 23 April 2017.

Feral Children

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