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Eric Gourlan


The nomadic existence of the Mongols


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        At the age of ten, "The Siberian Tiger" became engrained in my memory, in the colours of the 80s. As a result, a promise was born inside me as if a prophecy was treading on the tracks of the tiger. Twenty three years later my dream came true on the horizon and I infinitely small followed "Genghis Khan" exploring the light steppes.
        At dawn the silhouettes of the yurta camp emerge like pencil drawings. The feeling of the yesterday evenings warmth detaches you from the frozen world outside.
The children, still sleepy, huddle in the vicinity of the stove. The women called by the moaning of the mares leave the yurts, exchange their warm nest against the audacity of the long winter. While the barometer reads -30 degrees Celsius, the riders, warriors and guardians of the plains, try to gather the song of a crystal star rain, the horses of the thousand and one bells, the wanderers of the night. Glowing of the fervency makes the intimacy of the dark reveal light timidly. Not a sound, only the muffled silence of the "kumis" gulps blur the milky faces in the oval of their soup bowls. No one lingers, the watercolor day is brief, in between earth and heaven everyone works in their occupations. The men leave the camp, tirelessly looking for a sign of an offering placed on the white nacre, rigid and brittle it incarnates the winter of the shaman territories.
        A wounded Soviet Union had put in place an ingenious system to compensate for the education of children in such remote areas where even the horizon gets lost on the way. Teachers comparable to monks were tasked to gather the "elusive kids" not concerned with disciplinary instructions by the "red" order. From these seventy years of uniform fever only traces of glorious failure remain that were carried to the threshold of nostalgia.
        The elders know the difficulties of this life, conceive the shift to the "new world" and try to anxiously find an answer to the question of When the new generation will join the new world, what will happen to our traditions?

Eric Gourlan