Open Call: Wolf Crossing


In Finland there is a line around the city: susiraja, the wolf border. Within is law and order: shopping malls and social security. Beyond the susiraja lie the wilds and the wolves – just 200 at the last count. Who will howl in the forests when the last wolf departs?

The susiraja may be inviolable but we all draw it differently. Breeders are crossing wolves with dogs, and everywhere the wolf is crossing borders – between Finland and Russia, between myth and reality. The wolf is “more than he seems”i, “a sliver of transgression”ii, “a translation”iii, “a becoming-dog”iv

In the Finnish civil war, working-class women were described as “she-wolves” who (which?) ought to be shot down: “For the hunter knows that the bitch will produce new whelps to bring eternal trouble”5. The wolf is both lone wild man and nurturing mother. In the tale of The Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf threatens cosy domesticity. But maybe he just wants to come inside. Has the wolf been misunderstood?

Today, as goods and capital criss-cross the earth, borders are erected, fortified, policed. Blood and soil. Common scents. Marx once railed against the “stock exchange wolves”. The Fabian Society adopted a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A certain figure of a certain wolf rises again. But who? But where?

The Learned Pig is currently seeking submissions that respond thoughtfully to the idea of “Wolf Crossing”. These can be in any form: from photography to philosophical essays, from illustration to exhibition reviews, scientific research, art, poetry, interviews, fiction, creative non-fiction and beyond. We’re interested in wolves and we’re interested in crossings – from one gender or sexuality to another, across seas and mountain ranges, national borders or languages. What are the ethics of translation? And where walks the wolf now?



Please send all work to The Learned Pig’s editor, Tom Jeffreys:
There is no word limit for written submissions. Please send as Word documents, not PDFs. For art and/or photography, please send no more than eight JPEGs, each no bigger than 1MB. We will get back to you within six weeks. Please note: we are unable to pay contributors.

We especially welcome submissions by people from groups who tend to be underrepresented in the media, arts, and other creative sectors.

The deadline for submissions is 15th February 2017.

The Learned Pig
The “Wolf Crossing” open call is in addition to The Learned Pig’s usual programme of editorial. Please do continue to contact us with any ideas or completed works that fit somewhere within our four areas of interest: Art, Thinking, Nature, Writing. For more information please take the time to read a bit more about us and then get in touch.

Image credit: Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On, Vortex, gunpowder on paper, 400 x 900 cm, 2006. Collection of Deutsche Bank Collection, commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG


The Learned Pig


i. Angela Carter, ‘The Company of Wolves’ in The Bloody Chamber, 1979
ii. George Monbiot, Feral, 2013
iii. Jacques Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign, 2009
iv. Donna Haraway, When Species Meet, 2008
v. Ilmari Kianto, Keskisuomalainen newspaper 1918 (quoted in the Museum of Nonhumanity)

The Learned Pig

Launched in November 2013, The Learned Pig is an online arts magazine with a love for plants and animals. Our thinking has grown out of our engagement with landscape aesthetics and environmental ethics and these days we try to bring together multiple perspectives on bodies and places, interspecies interactions, and alternative conceptions of that which has rather too frequently been defined as “nature” or “the animal”.