Jon Michael Anzalone

Move with Animals
Location: New York City
Nationality: Queens
Biography: Analog spiritualist. Crumbling cities and strange places. Jon Michael Anzalone works independently on stories of personal interest and significance, carrying out well-studied, politically mature, and humanist photo essays on obscure topics. His... read on
Move with Animals
jon michael anzalone
Oct 10, 2018
Location: cholpon-ata
I have prepared a new photoessay from my time in Kyrgyzstan during the World Nomad Games. This project is a street photography series shot on film during and within the peripheral environs of the World Nomad Games. The focus is not on the Games themselves, but rather on the country as it hosted the Games.

It is currently unreleased, and if you are interested in this new work you are welcome to send me an inquiry.


"We are pleased to inform you that you have been accredited for participation in the Third World Nomad Games." The letter from the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs arrived late August, granting me authorization to act as a member of the foreign press with wide access to photograph the international tournament of sports set to take place. I documented and reported on these games–something of a cover to shoot my film throughout the periphery of the events.

In its opening ceremony, the story was told of Manas, the national epic of the Kyrgyz people, in which the hero unites the nomadic tribes in the valleys and pastures of the Tian Shan mountains. Behind this classical story was a new and ongoing narrative of a country seeking to establish and project a modern national identity by bringing the world to participate in regional sports and heritage.

These photographs look to tell a little of that long tale, from kinship with horses, to nomadic culture, collectivization, post-industrialism, and reclamation. During conversations about how the Kyrgyz were rediscovering themselves by learning from their nomadic elders, the primary lesson was always the same: how to "move with animals."


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