Mohsen Kaboli, Iran

The first time I took a picture of a horse and its owner in Bandar Turkmen in 2011, their secret and mysterious relationship was strange to me.
The process of producing a photo in the simple definition is sharing visual experiences. The caress of a cheek that occupied my mind, to cultivate the motivation of representation in my mind.
Representing the joy, smile, sadness, unhappiness and love that I combine in the form of a visual work.
And this story has a romantic aspect due to the involvement of my sense, as well as a kind of realism.
I live in Gorgan, northern Iran, a place very close to Aq Qala, Bandar Turkmen and Gonbad, which are residential places of Turkmen and horse lovers, where I could answer my questions about this relationship. Although it is very difficult to understand what a Turkman whispers in his horse’s ear and this is a hidden love between a Turkman and a horse.

Turkmen are one of the ethnic groups living in Iran. They are mostly scattered across the provinces of Golestan and Khorasan. They have worked in animal husbandry since ancient times. The Turkmen tribes are divided into three main tribes, called Goklan, Yamut and Teke.
The horse is an animal that is very valuable and popular for the Turkmen. And from the very beginning of life, one of the first things a Turkman gets acquainted with is a horse. Turkmen life is tied to horses and they love them and they are very careful in keeping them.
Turkmen’s love for horses has penetrated into the souls of their children from childhood. Parents introduce their children to horses and horseback riding from a very young age and learn to love being an equestrian.
It is in this atmosphere that Turkmen children gradually become interested in horses and horseback riding.
So that some of them, from the age of 8 to 12, seriously turn to riding and call themselves At Oqlan (At = horse, Oghlan = boy, horse rider).
Adolescent horse riders play an important role in the family economy.

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