by guest, Karol Orzechowski
The photos above are a small selection of images from an ongoing project called Behind The Chutes, which is my attempt to document Canadian rodeo culture and the human-animal relationships contained therein. In Southern Ontario alone, there are over 50 rodeos that happen between April and October every year. Over the past year, I’ve visited many of them, and seen firsthand the complicated ways that masculinity, heritage, and agri/culture intersect to form a particularly powerful rhetoric that justifies the use of animals for entertainment. Though many of the things that I’ve witnessed (and will continue to witness) at rodeos would be considered animal cruelty by most sane people, the rodeo folks are adamant that they have a more honest relationship with the animals in their stead, in a way that city-slickers who only know “cows” as “steak” couldn’t possibly relate to.
– Karol Orzechowski | decipherimages.com