Roasted raccoon, squirrel in sauce, deer cooked in Coca-Cola. Here are a number of recipes from the book Op Jacht by photographer and writer Isabella Rozendaal (37) from Maastricht.
Rozendaal has been photographing animals for years and accompanying hunters in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States and Brazil since 2007. She herself is trained in hunting, learning how to kill and prepare game.
Relationship between humans and animals
For years she has been fascinated by the ambivalent relationship between humans and animals. “The cat is pampered like a full member of the family, while in the meantime we only eat floppy chicken. When hunting, people only really think about the time of filming, when at the end of the day it’s about food. Hunt is actually a really bulky book on how to put something on your plate. “
Dealing with animals
In 2019 she has an exhibition at the Fotomuseum The Hague with the photos she takes on the hunt (Isabella Hunts), now there is the book Hunt. “It started with my final year project at the Academy of Arts in 2007. It was about human interactions with pets. There is something very ambivalent about this: Pets are full members of the family, while in the meantime we eat meat en masse and accept the existence of factory farming. “, says Rozendaal.
“Once I went hunting, I experienced a totally inverted world. Not necessarily better, but completely different. As a hunter you’re there when your food dies, and that ensures that you look at it in a different way, that you, as a human, are part of a food chain. “
On the hunt
Rozendaal accompanies all kinds of hunting parties such as shuttlecock hunting, big game hunting, small game, alligator hunting, pleasure hunting. She finds the latter particularly difficult to digest. “In Texas, they raise the biggest deer they can get, take it where you can shoot it, and all you have to do as a hunter is dock and pull the trigger.”
While this moment, the filming, is actually only a small part of the hunt. Waiting (sitting) for hours for a high seat, coming home without loot, the social aspect of hunting together, eviscerating, preparing and eating the animal you have slaughtered, these are all parts of the game. hunting, writes Rozendaal in his book. .
In 2015, she made her last big trip to hang out with hunters. Deep in the Brazilian jungle, she joined an indigenous tribe who lived off hunting for several weeks. “Children learn from an early age that they are part of the same living world as the animals they eat. You don’t have to explain it to them, they see it with their own eyes. This is exactly what we are here in the West. over time, this contact with nature, with our food. “
Rozendaal asked all the hunters she dated for their favorite recipe. Many recipes have been found in his book. But the reaction of one of the children from Brazil was perhaps the most telling. “When asked ‘how do you make your favorite fish recipe’ this kid started off by saying ‘well you catch a fish first’ and only then get into the mix. This catch of this fish as part of the recipe. our culture is less obvious.