15,000 years and 0.1 percent

Vanessa Kappler

Keywords: Research, Dogs, Breeding

Internship: Suzette Bousema
vanessakappler.com, vanessakappler@gmx.de

I am a visual researcher working with sustainability and the power arrangements between humans, nature and animals. My work deals with scientific research as well as our emotional response to our environment. In that I combine classic documentary photography, graphic design, archival and stock material as well as text.

Within my topics I focus on details of our behaviour towards our environment, while I deal with bigger questions such as: How do we interact with other species? How come we differentiate so strongly between species? Why do we think we have the right to modify our environment to our liking?

In order to be empathic and respectful towards our environment and others, we should reflect on our behaviour and try to expand our horizon every day.

Graduation Project

The bond between humans and dogs reaches far back in time — it is the longest documented relationship between human and animal. Over the course of more than fifteen thousand years, the two species evolved alongside each other. At some point, we humans took control and shaped the dog into what it is today, a companion to serve our needs and to appeal to our differing tastes and lifestyles. Dogs are no longer truly independent from us. What was once a fierce and self-sustained hunter has turned into a loyal little lapdog, living in a state between the human and the animal world.

Guard and companion dogs in the Sacromonte caves in Granada, Spain.
skull of a pug
skull of a pug



‘Between biophilia and speciesism’ investigates the relationship between human and nature. It mainly revolves around the question if anything that we call natural today is still what we imagine natural to be: untouched. It deals with different aspects of this relationship, including philosophical definitions of nature from the ancient Greeks to our western world today, invasive species, the health impact in relation to experiencing nature, the usage of the image of natural in marketing and more.

Scientific research is combined with personal memories and photos from a hiking trip in the mountains of Norway.