Bulgan
       
     
Dzud
       
     
Gee
       
     
"For Rent"
       
     
Bodikhuu
       
     
Gran
       
     
Confusion
       
     
Morning
       
     
Somewhere
       
     
Lunch
       
     
Bulgan
       
     
Bulgan

In Mongolia, we explored the cultural impact of mass urbanization. We traveled overland from the capital to Bulgan, a Kazakh village in the far west, to document a culture morphing. I brought a disposable camera, and this is an image from that roll. 

Photo: Cyrus Moussavi

Dzud
       
     
Dzud

The nomads' lunar calendar predicted a Dzud, a winter of unbelievable intensity. Nomads were desperately stocking up for winter as we traveled through. Their predictions were right, and hundreds of thousands of animals have died, wiping out the livelihood of many herders.  

Photo: Cyrus Moussavi

Gee
       
     
Gee

We explored a bit of hip hop in Mongolia (inspired in part by Benj Binks' "Mongolian Bling").  We met up with Gee and his daughter at his studio in UB. While we didn't get to include him in the film, we had a good convo about independence and living as an artist in Mongolia. 

Photo: Cyrus 

"For Rent"
       
     
"For Rent"

You see this word everywhere in Ulaanbaatar. The city is exploding -- hundreds of thousands of nomads are giving up the country lifestyle and coming for work. Nearly half the country's population now lives in this city. 

Photo: Cyrus

Bodikhuu
       
     
Bodikhuu

Bodikhuu is the man. The Mongolian J Dilla. Go listen to his music now. 

Photo: Jacob Russell

Gran
       
     
Gran

UB is a pretty closed city -- the combination of cold ass weather, Soviet past, and a tough, keep-it-to-the-vest nomadic tradition means you don't get a lot of free smiles on the street. Grams and her matching blues were too good to miss though. 

Photo: Cyrus

Confusion
       
     
Confusion

While filming a short video about teenage life for Wall Street Journal, Cyrus (L) and Jacob (R) try, and mostly fail, to use the janky virtual reality rig Cyrus bought from some Monster-Energy-chugging bros on Staten Island. 

Photo: Suniko B

Morning
       
     
Morning

We took a bus across Mongolia. It took about two days and one night of nonstop driving. Early in the morning, flat tire after fording a river. 

Photo: Cyrus

Somewhere
       
     
Somewhere

During the bus ride across Mongolia, we saw only two towns. This is one of them. 

Photo: Cyrus

 

Lunch
       
     
Lunch

Mongolia is not known for its cuisine. Mostly meats and milks. Any veg (carrots and onions, mostly) come from Russia. But in the countryside, at least, the food and dairy is fresh and delicious.

Photo: Cyrus