My name is Julius and I am your twin brother
May 26, 2005 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Hundreds of twins in group photos from a Twin Festival. Twins Days in Twinsburg, Ohio claims to be the world's largest annual gathering of twins. Sarah Small's Photographs Twin Festivals
posted by growabrain (26 comments total)
Some of the Small photos are very intriguing. I wish they had some captions or gave more information on the subjects.
posted by PY at 10:36 PM on May 26, 2005

Wow, some of those are really odd to look at. I watched a documentary once about Twinsburg and apparently it is very common for twins to attend the festival specifically to find a set of twins of the opposite sex in order to hook-up, date, marry, etc. They were saying that to a lot of twins it is the ideal situation to marry another set of twins and festivals are one of the only places where you come in contact with several sets of twins your own age in order to choose from.

I used the words twins about 8,367 times just then.
posted by Ugh at 10:50 PM on May 26, 2005

These are great - love the galleries in the third link. Twins are fascinating.

How coincidental tho - I was going to post a twin link myself earlier in the evening, but the site was down. Check out this photo gallery of twins by Mary Ellen Mark - some rather interesting duos. (found via neurastenia)
posted by madamjujujive at 11:11 PM on May 26, 2005

It would be a good place to do experiments.
posted by peacay at 11:14 PM on May 26, 2005

There are different kinds of twin besides identical and fraternal. I've known several who think they are identical, but who likely are half-identical (polar body) twins. At first glance they appear identical, but you can soon tell them apart quite easily. This is because the egg splits before fertilization, so they share identical genes from their mother, but different genes from their father (one split egg, two sperm). They could even have different fathers, given the right (or perhaps the wrong) circumstances.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:20 PM on May 26, 2005

One of Mary Ellen Mark's photos doubles as cover for my wife's first novel, due in October. It's called--you guessed it--Twins.
posted by muckster at 11:22 PM on May 26, 2005

wow, that's really cool, muckster - the cover will sell that book. How neat, looks good - I'll have to watch for it. You must be proud of her!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:34 PM on May 26, 2005

I really like Small's photos. When I was younger I used to fantasize about having a twin. I suppose it was because I was an only child and lonely but I thought it would like having a built-in best friend.

(muckster - your wife's book looks interesting)
posted by LeeJay at 1:11 AM on May 27, 2005

I just came back today from a vacation, where I ran into two sets of twins, hence the post. Sorry, Madam, I hate it when it happens
posted by growabrain at 1:19 AM on May 27, 2005

Any other twins here on MetaFilter?
posted by ericb at 6:39 AM on May 27, 2005

It would be a good place to do experiments.

The Minnesota Twin Family Study often recruits study subjects at the Twin Festival.
posted by ericb at 6:44 AM on May 27, 2005

posted by Space Kitty at 7:06 AM on May 27, 2005

My twin brother Cam ( and I have been to this Twins Festival twice. The first time around (1995) it was pretty cool, hanging out and meeting other people who actually truly understand what it means to be a twin. A lot of the activities and things they plan are corny, and there are, understandably, a lot of 2-for-1 specials, but if you go with the right attitude, it can be an interesting time. The pictures are the most interesting. It's unfortunate that all the pictures listed here are posed shots (mostly), because it's the unposed snapshots that are the most interesting. In my own photos of the Twins Festival, there are many where there is a set or two of posed twins, but then in the background are many other sets of twins caught unaware by the camera, and that's what's most interesting. Picture after picture, you'll see identical twins in the background unconciously performing identical gestures, or identical stances, or identical postures. They don't even know they're doing it, and that's what's interesting to me.

Unfortunately, I haven't scanned in these pictures to be put online. If I have time, I'll do it this weekend and post a link here in the comments of this post.
posted by at 7:16 AM on May 27, 2005

Where's my katamari? I have to make Gemini!
posted by squidlarkin at 7:21 AM on May 27, 2005

No offense to any who may be reading this, but I've always found the phenomenon of twin-ness to be slightly creepy. Maybe it's from seeing Dead Ringers one too many times...
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:06 AM on May 27, 2005

Thanks, LeeJay and Mme. Juju. Yes, we're thrilled, and I'm mighty proud of Marcy. The cover's the perfect combination of sweet and disturbing--that's pretty much the tone of the book, too.

The photos linked here are all great, by the way. mrbarrett, I would love to see your snaps from the festival. There's also a terrific short film made there that I once caught at the New York Film Festival, but haven't been able to find since.
posted by muckster at 8:12 AM on May 27, 2005

I find one of the most interesting/disturbing aspects about being a twin are the questions about the nature of identity. My friend turned me onto this story (salon link - may require a free day pass) that - even with the creepy factor - does a great job of explaining what it's like to wrestle with the bigger question of "Who am I?"
posted by Space Kitty at 9:29 AM on May 27, 2005

muckster - the film was TWINS.

"TWINS is a revealing look at one of life's most fascinating relationships. In the summer of 2002, photographer Mary Ellen Mark was completing her two-year book project on twins at the Twins Days Festival, an annual event in Twinsburg, Ohio. Director/ cinematographer Martin Bell, Mark's husband, interviewed the twins she photographed. What is surprising (and moving) is how candid the subjects are and their insights into the complexity of rituals such as dating, picking a spouse, and dealing with separation from one another. Bell's previous films include American Heart with Jeff Bridges and Streetwise, which was shown in New Directors/New Films in 1984 and was nominated for an Academy Award that year. 16m, USA, 2003 [New York Film Festival 2003].
posted by ericb at 9:35 AM on May 27, 2005

Just noticed the thread title. :)
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:35 AM on May 27, 2005

TWINS DVD available at Aperture's store.
posted by ericb at 9:36 AM on May 27, 2005

Diane Arbus' Identical Twins. NPR tells the story behind the image.
posted by ericb at 9:38 AM on May 27, 2005

Thanks, ericb. We have the book, but not the DVD. Part of the film is online as wmv.
posted by muckster at 10:19 AM on May 27, 2005

I've lived in Twinsburg most of my life, still do. Marched in the Twinsday parade for 5 years. The festival is like a highschool reunion for locals. One year my bestfriend and I dressed alike and got into the big picture.
posted by sadie01221975 at 1:51 PM on May 27, 2005

it was pretty cool, hanging out and meeting other people who actually truly understand what it means to be a twin

And I'm sure many of us have a similar response to the likely first question: "What's it like to be a twin?"

Our response: "What's it like not to be a twin?"
posted by ericb at 6:35 PM on May 27, 2005

The answer is not delivered as a "snark". It often leads to a balanced and intriguing conversation. It's difficult to convey to "non-twins" the connection one has with one's twin.
posted by ericb at 6:38 PM on May 27, 2005

Quickly glancing at the group pics, I only see twins. Just wondering if triplets on up attend or if they have there own thing...
posted by MrMulan at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2005

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