French, I used to live in South East Asia, Mexico, Middle East, and the rest of Europe. I travel mostly to take pictures and m y approach is to focus on a very specific place/population in a given country and spend time as close...
Harvest is a family thing in Song Kol region. Under the summer heat, men are giving a hand to collect haystacks. From left to right: step-brother, father, and son. They would take a short break to drink Kymis (fermented mare milk) and vodka
Omurbek's grandmmother preparing chai and dinner for the family. A whole boiled goat with herbs. There is a clear hierarchy among the pieces of the animal. Give the head to children and keep the loin fat for the one you respect.
Song Kol is a lake nested in the mountains of Central Asia at an altitude of 3000m. It is surrounded by infinite meadows and high peaks, giving a strange contrast of the feeling of imprisonment within an expansive space. Every summer, families of shepherds migrate to the lake, offering the fresh pastures to their herd.
Sunset on the lake. Omurbek and I are riding his horse along the shore. It is getting cold there and the boy is whistling at the dogs to bring the goats back inside the pen. Wait... I know this tune - Casta Diva! My companion is an opera dancer during the winter and a shepherd and fierce Ulag player over the summer months. Ulag is a game that could sound heathen to our Western minds, a mix between horseball and rugby, played with a goat carcass. Song Kol meadows make a perfect training ground for the Shepherds to practice and perfect their technique for the next match.
I am not an ethnologist or a reporter and maybe not even a photographer though, as a curious man of the world, I decided to approach the nomad population of Song Kol in Kyrgyzstan. I roamed the roads around the lake, looking for people and objects to connect with. The experience gave me a strange feeling of being very close despite that world being obscure and distant.