s TELLING OF THE BEES - Swarm mag

TELLING OF THE BEES

What are our ethical and environmental responsibilities to bees? And what are their responsibilities to—and because of—us? Jake Eshelman explores our unique cohabitation with this vital insect.

WORDS BY THE AUTHOR / What we have, we owe to bees. Human evolution is expressly linked to bees. Among the most prolific and successful pollinators on the planet, bees have helped create and maintain the biodiverse environments that made it possible for human civilization to take root and grow. Across cultures, it was once common for people to inform their beehives of important developments in the household, including births, marriages, and deaths. Named in honor of this tradition, Telling of the Bees is an ongoing visual exploration documenting the complex and varying relationships between people and bees—specifically as they emerge throughout agriculture, industry, ecological research, environmental conservation, healthcare, bioengineering, and spirituality. More than half of the images in Telling of the Bees were made in Ukraine—specifically in the villages of Heisykha and Popruzjnha, Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine.

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To consider: What are our ethical and environmental responsibilities to bees? And what are their responsibilities to—and because of—us?

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Apitherapy [ā-pi-ˈther-ə-pē]

The use of substances produced by honeybees (such as venom, propolis, or honey) to treat various medical conditions in humans.

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Snímek obrazovky 2020-05-24 v 15.19.11
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What we have, we owe to bees / Human evolution is expressly linked to bees. Among the most prolific and successful pollinators on the planet, bees have helped create and maintain the biodiverse environments that made it possible for human civilization to take root and grow.

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BIO / Jake Eshelman (b. 1989, USA) is a photographer exploring the complex relationships between humans and other-than-human beings. He believes that our curious dissociation with the natural and spiritual worlds provides a palpable backdrop in which we can more fully (re)consider humanity’s role in ecology. Through a documentary and intuitive photographic practice, his recent work investigates interspecies and interspiritual relationships across industry, agriculture, and conservation, while questioning the tenets of anthropocentrism, the Enlightenment rationalization of “nature,” and the capitalist growth model.

Eshelman’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and has been included in independently published photo books, collaborative artist books, and even a children’s book series published by Simon & Schuster encouraging aspiring creatives to pursue artistic careers. He has been featured in publications including Trouvé Magazine, Texas Monthly, VSCO interviews, and Lenscratch, and also speaks publicly about the creative process.

Jake holds a BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in Classical Literature, with a concentration in hermeneutics and reception theory, as well a minor in Studio Art and Art History.

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