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Eleanor Moseman – World Nomad Games

Eleanor Moseman LE Mag April 2019

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Nomadic Traditions of the Fierce and the Bold, photographs and text by Eleanor Moseman

Eleanor Moseman is an American photographer that has been documenting China for a decade.

Working with minorities, women among religious cultures, the working-class, and those enslaved into poverty, Eleanor strives to immerse herself in the culture of the people. Creating imagery and stories to seek resolutions of the inflicted while sharing voices of the unknown, forgotten, and persecuted. Her time is divided between commercial work while pursuing long term, socially conscious and meaningful photo-journalistic projects. You can generally find her roaming the plateaus of Tibet or the deserts of Xinjiang. The camera being her greatest tool, Eleanor’s storytelling and intrepid solo expeditions also make noted contributions among the world of explorers. Eleanor offers a refreshing and unique voice among the community of explorers as her writing, photography and personal reports are focused primarily on the people and the environment. Eleanor’s photography and writing has been published internationally and a TEDxShanghaiWomen speaker in 2016. Recently, she was awarded the Ohio (State) Arts Council 2019 Individual Excellence Award and financial grant for her photography and storytelling in Tibet. http://www.eleanormoseman.com/


Last year’s World Nomad Games, a celebration of nomadic heritage, took place in the Issyk-Kul province of Kyrgyzstan. I photographed female competitors who had travelled from all over central Asia and eastern Europe, and explored the difficulties and challenges they face as competitors.

The third World Nomad Games took place from September 2 to 8, 2018, in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. Under the patronage of UNESCO, this sporting and cultural event is the largest international project held in the Kyrgyz Republic, and initiates the preservation and revival of nomadic traditions. The slogan for 2018 – ‘United in Strength! United in Spirit!’ – was aimed at fostering a more integrated relationship among the diverse nomadic clans of the world. The biennial games provides a venue not only for competitors in Central Asia but also nomadic communities from Europe and North America. The first-ever World Nomad Games was launched in Kyrgyzstan in 2014, with the participation of 600 athletes from 19 countries. Last year, 3,000 athletes and cultural performers from 77 countries participated in 37 nomadic sports and the week-long Nomad Universe ethnoculture festival.


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© Eleanor Moseman