Spirits & Ghosts: Journeys Through Mongolia

Photographs by Julia Calfee

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ISBN: 9781576871676

Photographs by Julia Calfee
Introduction by Antonin Kratochvil

Photography / Shamanism / East Asian Studies
Hardcover
8.9 x 11.55 inches
168 pages
76 duotone photographs
ISBN: 978-1-57687-167-6

Photographs by Julia Calfee
Introduction by Antonin Kratochvil

Photography / Shamanism / East Asian Studies
Hardcover
8.9 x 11.55 inches
168 pages
76 duotone photographs
ISBN: 978-1-57687-167-6

Spirits and Ghosts: Journeys through Mongolia delves into the transitions and changes in Mongolia since 1996, addressing the issues and problems of this country that is still steeped in the murkiness of the post-Communist era, and awkwardly adapting to a new democratic system. Calfee documented the role of shamanism and ritual in this mysterious land, participating in the winter migration of a female shaman and her family over the mountains, sleeping on ice-covered fields at –40° C, and taking photographs of her private séances, rarely seen by anyone outside of this exclusive nomadic culture.

Calfee also spent years documenting the social ills of this little-understood East-Central Asian republic, spending days and nights in different prisons with adolescents, women, alcoholics, murderers, and many innocent people. Whether exploring the work camps that have not changed since Stalin’s time, makeshift strip-mining conditions, rampant alcoholism, or the general hopelessness of urban life in the capital, Calfee’s unflinching and haunting images leave a strong sense of correspondence between social problems and the dark spirituality of this troubled land.

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