Inevitable tension
Towards a closer sky,
Rarified oxygen
Above the thoughts of men.
Silk scarves tied to a tree, meaning that this natural landscape feature is the object of devotion by Mongolians. This practice is influenced by the animistic and shamanic Mongolian religion.
A world being modified by the hands of men, still rooted on earth, but changing its very ways of reaching the sky.
Mongolia's whole traditional planet is being transformed at an unprecedented, unforeseen speed. It is a race towards urbanisation: almost 70% of the Mongolian population, once nomadic, now lives in towns and cities. The changing climate, with its unbearable harsh winters called zud (causing the death of livestock), is one of the leading causes. 
Mongolia, known as "The Land of The Eternal Blue Sky", is the largest sparsely populated country in the world, counting 3 million inhabitants, mainly Buddhists, but with many still widely practising shamanism and animism. As they move to the city, they settle down in the outskirts, in the polluted ger districts, totally lacking access to modern infrastructure. 

Blue silk scarves tied to an element of religious architecture. On the background, the typical Mongolian urban landscape.
A building site.
A building still to be completed, in Ulaanbaatar. Almost 38% of the Mongolian population lives in the capital city.
A building still to be completed, in Ulaanbaatar. 
A building site.
A man looking at the expanding outskirts of Ulaanbaatar. More than 60% of the capital city's population now lives in ger districts often built on or along sites prone to natural disasters and extremely polluted.
A view of Ulaanbaatar with its typical cloud of toxic smog, a large part of which is produced by the ger districts. Ulaanbaatar's total emissions of harmful breathable particles known as PM2.5 have surged to unbearable levels. According to the World Health Organisation, the acceptable standard is 20-25 micrograms; in Ulaanbaatar, it has hit 1,000 micrograms.

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