Utne Blogs > Environment

Blood, Slums, and Snow

by Will Wlizlo


Tags: Mongolia, Ulan Bator, winter, photo essay, poverty, squalor, alcholism, Alessandro Grassini, environment, Will Wlizlo,

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Think your life is tough? Try dragging a dead sheep across the frozen tundra on a makeshift wooden sled. Foreign Policy shows life on Mongolia’s barren landscape during dzud—or severe winter conditions—in a bitterly cold and impossibly bleak photo essay. Photographer Alessandro Grassani chronicles the rampant alcoholism and ubiquitous squalor of Mongolia’s capitol city, Ulan Bator, and the hardscrabble subsistence lifestyle of those from its surrounding provinces.

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Source: Foreign Policy 

Images courtesy of Alessandro Grassini and LUZphoto. 

steve eatenson
6/21/2011 7:11:03 AM

The pictures under impossibly bleak photo essay were very dramatic. Several comments suggest offense at portraying the people of this area as uneducated or the area as unacceptable. I wonder if the photo journalist meant to give this negative view of the area and people or if what was meant was another reason for people in the West who have it so easy compared to these harsh conditions to practice gratitude for the gifts they enjoy. I doubt many of these Mongolian People spend time playing golf and resting at expensive resorts. The comment about global warming making these people's Winters harsher, while probably impossible to prove, reminds one that everything we do effects others and we should all be mindful of how we may be muddying the water for others when we carelessy pursue our own self-indulgences.