In the summer of 1992 I travelled across Mongolia. The country had just embarked on a path to democracy after seven decades of communism. The economy was bleak, with food and gasoline shortages and frequent power blackouts. Nomadic herdsmen, no longer supported under the new free-market, were relocating off the steppe to Ulaanbaatar in search for work. It was a chaotic and challenging time, that would eventually make way for a burgeoning new economy.
For part of my time there I had the fortune of staying with my fixer Dugeemaa’s family in Ulaanbaatar. 27 year-old Dugeemaa had studied English at university and was working as a freelance fixer. I captured their lives in five images ... Dugeemaa's seen here with her 4 year-old daughter Duvreemaa; Her sister Naljirmaa and husband Batbold, both of whom had worked with the military as morse code operator and captain respectively, with Batbold having recently quit to work as a broker with the newly established stock exchange. They were still grieving the loss of their 18 month old daughter; Dugeemaa's brother Dashaa, a mechanic, with wife Tseden-Esh, a nurse; Dugeemaa's 71 year-old mother Dolgor; and Moobaatar, a young friend of family whose wife had passed the year before.
The family apartment was in a soviet era block not far from downtown. There was a strong family bond, with a tinge of sadness from recent bereavements. Resilient people and generous without judgement.
Image gallery continues ...