Western Mongolia is an exposed Mars-like wilderness for three months of the year, and an icy landscape for the other nine. Kazaks and Mongols share a way of life in harmony with, and at the whim of, nature’s every gesture. They are a community of outsiders, both physically and in a globalised context. A culture not yet irrevocably changed by modernisation.
The Outsider is John Feely’s photographic record of his personal journeys through Mongolia in 2014 and 2015. A need for
spaciousness, providence and traditional living led him to pick out a dot on a map, with no plan thereafter.
No language was shared, the process was meditative and silent. Unimaginable events unfolded daily. Rounding up wild horses on mountain tops, climbing into eagles’ nests, migrating cross country with nomads and eating dinner from a single plate with a family of 8.
It can be a transformative experience to simply not fill up the space with what we know and want, and instead embrace what is actually around us. These photographs are simply an extension of relationships formed from this place.
Rather than receiving news from the outside world it seems that a fresh internal experience of life is what truly connects us as people. No matter the size, a leap outside the comfort of what we know inspires a reduction in the distance between people. Moment after moment it also makes what was seemingly impossible a fresh new reality. Perhaps this is how our dreams become reality.
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