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Hearth of Darkness

Siniša Prvanov | Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Bogd Khan Palace Museum, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia January 2014

HEART OF DARKNESS

Mongolia 2015-2016

Preface

Marko Polo, the famous medieval Venetian trader and explorer, on his deathbed, said: "I did not say half of what I saw"

1254 – 1324

It's hard to describe Mongolia. Mongolia is one of the world's last unspoiled destinations. It is a land of mystery, extreme, majestic space, where Shamanism is still practiced, and people go hunting with eagles. Mongolia is a diverse country, from high mountains and dense forests in the north, to the lush plains and desert dunes in the south. This is a country where culture, history and landscape are inextricably intertwined, where nomads continue to roam the vast steppes since the times of Genghis Khan, and where it all as just endless hospitality of the Mongolian people.

Mongolia is the one of the largest country in cental Asia and the 18th largest in the world. Area: 1,566,500 square kilometers, located between two big neighbors, Russia and China. Extremely cold climate.Average winter temperature is - 35C. Mongolian landscape is amazing. Mountains dominate two thirds of the country. The highest peaks of Mongolia are permanently underlined by snow and glaciers. There are nearly 2,000 lakes. Mongolia is dominated by the famous Gobi desert.

The population of Mongolia is only 3.3 million people, was one of the lowest population density in the world.What is certainly one of the curiosities of this country.Mongoian language is indigenous. Alphabet is Cyrillic, what is Russian influence.Traditional calygraphic alphabet was abolished at the beginning of the 20th century.

Mongolian religion dominates Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism, nearly 94% of the population. But most of people still practicing shamanism. Historically, during Mongol empire Mongols were exposed to the influence of Christianity (Catholicism) and Islam, although this religion never managed to dominate.

Mongolian people are very proud on their History. In the 13th century, Genghis Khan and his descendants win the majority and establishing rich multi-cultural commercial networks and largely peaceful empire.Peace was guaranteed by fostering religious tolerance at the time of the infamous Inquisition was on the scene in most parts of Western Europe. However, in the following centuries, Mongolia withdrew from the world scene and returned to its historic roots as a nation of herders in the Asian steppe.

In the early 20th century, Mongolia becomes de facto satellite state of the Soviet Union. However, in the early 1990s, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mongolia conducted a peaceful revolution and the Soviet Union abandons its policy in favor of democratic institutions. From this period, the Mongolian economy is in a state of great transformation.

As part of a much larger economic and political framework, globalized forces affecting the Mongolian society and culture unprecedented speed. Mongolia is booming country and perfect place to rest and learn about grat Asian cultures.

Siniša Prvanov

Siniša Prvanov was born in 1965 in Republic of Serbia. Hi lives and works in Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Cyprus, and since 2016 he is permanently based in Athens, Greece. He graduated at University of Arts Belgrade and National Technical University of Athens. His professional work has received several design awards. His work been exhibited internationally in Berlin, Milan, Bologna, Athens, Monte Carlo, Montevideo and Montreal. He has been published by the National Geographic, Burn and ND Magazine. His work also appeared in eleven books, two journal monographs, and over 20 journal articles.

Ulaanbaatar

Terelj Park

s.prvanov@gmail.com

sinisa.prvanov@bilkent.edu.tr

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