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Pastoralism in Central Asia is still practiced by millions of individuals from a wide variety of ethnic groups, yet the trend is towards a sharp decline of this age-old way of life. This phenomenon is nothing new, linked to the region’s industrialization, successive phases of urbanization and the ever-increasing access of younger generations to education. 

Between the desire to settle down on the one hand, and the continuity of family values on the other, the Kazakhs of Mongolia are experiencing intense changes. Added to this is a recent, evolving difficulty that they have no control over: climate change.


Erratic rainfall, drought and an ever-shortening winter season are causing families to adapt ever more rapidly. Many stop, wishing a quieter life for themselves. Among the young, often sent to the city for their studies, many leave their nomadic past behind forever. But some wish to pursue their forefathers’ traditions. Such is the case of Yipoi, joining his father and uncle for the first time on their long and arduous winter migration.


In the West, while nomadism has long been imbued with a romanticism that is often misplaced, it now raises questions in the face of ever-increasing environmental challenges. A way of life in tune with nature, with a low carbon footprint, and virtually self-sufficient, leaves one dreaming, while the so-called "developed" world never ceases to strive for alternative lifestyles. While all too often the lessons come from the North, this project aims to bring back knowledge of "peripheral" areas, from communities that are also constantly evolving, but differently adapted to today's challenges.

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