Black Gold Hotel

In the last decade the economy of Mongolia has grown at an unprecedented rate, with GDP expanding by more than 10% per year. All this mostly depends on the mining industry: attracted by the large deposits of copper, gold and most of all coal, all of the industry’s global giants have invested and invest in this small country of Central Asia.

In this accelerated and deregulated development local populations and traditional ways of life, based on ancestral nomadic herding along routes across the steppes, are undergoing a crisis. Many families have left their activities and moved in large urban centers in search of work opportunities in this new industrial society, often slipping into economic and social poverty. Others, however, try to resist, dealing every day with pollution, dusts that poison the vegetation, and living conditions which get more and more difficult every day.

The long term project Black Gold Hotel is a journey in the daily lives of people all over the country, from the families in the Gobi desert that chose to continue the tradition of the steppe despite all difficulties to the young people in UlaanBaatar that live, consume and have fun in a way more and more similar to their western peers’, from the kids forced to look for food and shelter in a dump, to the people that abandoned nomadic life hoping to find happiness in a more urban lifestyle, but ended up being trapped in-between.

Links: NPR The Picture Show, GUPEmaho, Esquire.ru, FK Magazine, Verve Photo, PJL (Time), Wired.com, Burn Magazine, PBT