I used my first big pay check as a photo assistant in 2001 working for nath goldberg @nathanielgoldberg to take a month off and buy an airplane ticket to beijing from where i boarded the trans-siberian train to reach ulaan baatar, capital city of mongolia. since then i have been coming back almost every year, sometimes twice a year to shoot and collect a library of images about mongolia i believe is one of the most comprehensive in the world today, traveling and documenting all the different provinces, returning to some areas to meet the same people i had met on previous journeys. i have seen the country evolve during those 17 years, going through an exponential transformation with the impact of full capitalism and digital era. the main cities and her people have evolved greatly, the countryside has remained almost untouched.
in this picture, a herder wearing the traditional mongol del near üüreg lake, western mongolia. an image from my up-coming book #mongolia #mongoliathebook
End of the day and after bringing back the cattle to the camp, this wakhi herder is helping the women gather and bring the lambs back to their respective mothers to feed them and get the necessary energy to withstand the cold of the night. favorite time of the day to shoot in the height of the pamir mountains by -20 degrees celsius, when the light is slowly fading and envelops everything in its soft glow #afghanistan #pamir #hindukush #littlepamir #wakhan #wakhancorridor @fredericlagrange
Massai mara, seregenti
Early days of september. summer is over, temperatures are already cooler, and the amount of daylight is shortening everyday. fall is the time to look for a fresh new pasture. we cross path with this family. their entire life and belongings are packed in the back of that truck. they are heading north to their winter camp, a 200 kilometers ride where the pasture is better that time of the year. the cattles are following behind, lead by the elders. walking, they will get to their destination and join the rest of the family in a week or so. through the dunes, hills, desert, no need for a map, they know this area like the back of their hand. i have learned over the years that mongols have an incredible sense of directions, the main requirement to survive as a nomad.
this is an image from my up-coming book project “mongolia”. watch for the pre-sale announcement coming soon. #mongolia #mongoliathebook
No tap water available here, but no matter where we are, it is the same ritual before each meal: a small, worn out dish with a bar of soap and someone from the household going around pouring water over each guest’s hands. water is precious and only the necessary amount to clean and rinse is used. once everyone has washed, the meal can start #afghanistan #pamir #hindukush #wakhi #wakhancorridor
Back in my studio in brooklyn, new york, taking a break from traveling to put the finishing touches on my book project, “mongolia”. editing 17 years of work has been a long process, but i am very excited about the result and my collaboration with some incredible individuals. watch for the pre-sale announcement in early september #mongoliathebook #mongolia -
this first picture featured from the book selection of a horse herder in one of favorite part of western mongolia, üüreg lake. most of the pictures in the book have never been published or seen before. the entire body of work was shot in negative film
Meals are simple businesses: homemade bread and yoghurt we purchased from a local farmer as we were passing a few homes earlier that morning. we lay down a clothe on the floor, all of us sit around in a circle and eat, mostly in silence. lunch is quick. we head back on the road. another half day of walk to get to our destination where we will set up camp for the night #afghanistan #littlepamir #wakhancorridor #hindukush #afghan
Dodging bad weather and keeping looking in front of us. view of burch mirzo from afar as we try to catch up with him, leading the expedition along lake chaqmaqtin. this is the little pamir at 14,500 feet high, cruising deeper into the wakhan corridor in that white landscape #afghanistan #littlepamir #hindukush #wakhancorridor
The only road along the wakhan corridor to access the afghan pamir mountains is a dirt path. few cars are found here though. the vehicle of choice is the donkey, easy to ride, easy to load with cargo, chosen over yaks for their endurance, donkey can access any corner in the mountains, even very narrow ones. every family has a donkey, the same way motorbikes are in south east asia. we meet this farmer one early morning on his way to his field, riding in a proud fashion. his son is trailing behind. relying on donkeys to carry our equipments and subsistence for the rest of our journey in afghanistan, i discovered a new appreciation and respects for those animals. #afghanistan #pamir #wakhan #wakhancorridor #hindukush
Mother and daughter in the kyrgyz winter camp around lake chaqmaqtin, afghanistan. throughout all of central asia, tea is something more important than a mere beverage to quench one’s thirst with. tea opens and closes any meals, newcomers are often received with tea, each time freshly made. and the same patterns seem to always take place in the following order in that part of the world: the newcomers (us) are ushered in. women, most of the time, busy themselves around the fire to boil water and make preparations. men sit around, breaking the awkward silence with small talks. then tea is served, with some sweet, and the conversations becomes more animated, news are exchanged, common acquaintances are discovered, jocks are made followed by laughters. by the time we leave to get back on our journey, everyone has become friends. we know that next time we will be in that area, we will be welcomed guests here again. #afghanistan #pamir #mongolia #tajikistan #kyrgyz #hindukush #centralasia #kodak