► How to Be Man, a Woman, or Something Else? is a series of photographic portraits by Teemu Mäki depicting people of different ages – women, men, and people of neither category, some ordinary-looking, others extraordinary. The photographs illustrate the challenges that many people confront in their struggle to conform to prescribed gender roles. Some try their hardest to live up to social expectations, while others give in to self-doubt. Others again consciously redefine gender and push against the constraints of stereotype by refusing to accept any pre-determined identity. Gender identity is an integral facet of the book’s other overarching theme: human mortality.
“I believe that our demeanour reflects our relationship with death and our relationship with so-called masculinity and so-called femininity and their variants – even when we don’t consciously intend it. This interests me, because the things we aspire to achieve in society and in our lives depend directly on what kind of men, women or whatever we believe we are, and also on our relationship with our own mortality.”