Wilma´s new photography book The Woman Who Married a Horse deals with the relationship between humans and horses.

As a symbol horse defies definitions and limits. It refers to power, yearning for freedom, sexuality. It also tells us about our longing to control something stronger than ourselves. Communication between two species is possible but it is always limited. We exploit and abuse other species, horses included. And still: why does this huge and powerful animal consent to obey our requests?

The images include, among other things, studies of contractuality between humans and horses. For example, certain cowboy culture work horses stay put when their reins touches the ground. They don´t have to be tied up but instead are trained to respect a contract. This raises interesting questions of the meaning of free will and responsibility.

On top of each animal species´ different connotations in our culture, the animal seems to have served as a mirror in which humans see a reflection of themselves, a reflection they have no other access to. However, the more instrumental the human being´s attitude towards the animal is, the more muddled his mirror becomes. Imitating or echoing horses is my interpretation of the feminist writer Donna Haraway´s idea of “becoming with”: the way we should be able to live among and respect other critters on our planet.

The book, published by Kehrer Verlag, includes 152 pages, around 90 images and a beautiful essay by Sanna Lipponen.

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