People of the Blue Sky
Cover story of the National Geographic Traveler September 2019. Shamanism is probably the oldest spiritual system in the world. It is not a religion but represents a holistic understanding of the relationship between man and nature. Everything that lives and has a spirit is besouled – including animals, plants … even the air. Triggered by this idea I traveled in October 2018 to the northern part of Mongolia; an intense ride of four days through a desolate landscape that took me to the Tsaatan Reindeer people. Here I learned, among other things, that shamans transcend the barriers between the worlds and communicate with the spirits by traveling in the spirit world or by voluntarily embodying them. In this way, they pass on healing and information from the spiritual worlds to the community in which they live.
I continually strive to lessen the impact that manufacturing has on the environment. Therefore I use FineArt inkjet papers made of raw plant fibers that grow quickly, don’t require pesticides, and don’t need optical brighteners. Besides eco-friendly, the result is a museum quality for high age resistance print with a rough, yet delicately defined surface texture that gives the subject a captivating sense of depth. When it comes to framing I use ‘baklijsten’ made of compressed wood. These frames give the print a floating 3D effect. The advantage of a ‘baklijst’ is that the entire photo remains visible and it does not partially disappear behind the edge of the frame.
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