Hi. I’m an American journalist, photographer and videographer and will be spending the next nine months documenting the intersection of urbanization and music in the Mongolian capital city, Ulaanbaatar. I’m interested in understanding how Mongolian youth use hip-hop and popular music to deal with a rapidly urbanizing society. Increased mining, population growth, and climate change are all dramatically impacting the traditional nomadic lifestyle nearly 1 million Mongolians still practice. Unable to sustain their herds, many nomads are selling their goats, cows, and yaks and moving their gers (yurts) to the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar and other population centers in hopes of steady work. The transition from nomadic to city life is a dramatic one. I hope to capture the ways in which youth are using music to deal with this quickly changing culture.
I’ll be keeping this blog throughout my time as a way to process and share my experiences in the Land of the Blue Sky and invite you to follow along!