Venturing into the Mongolian steppe, Jade Sellick has captured the unique lives of nomadic herders.
Undergrad Jade travelled solo into the Mongolian steppe to observe and document the region’s nomadic herders.
VISUAL FORMS OF STORYTELLING, SUCH AS animation and film, have fascinated and captivated me from a young age. However, my passion for photography developed later in life. I studied film production at Bournemouth Film School, where I specialised in cinematography. It was here that I found an appreciation for stills photography and its ability to enchant an audience. As I delved deeper into creative narratives, I soon found that most of my inspiration was coming from true accounts of real people and their extraordinary adventures. It was at this point that I decided to focus on documentary media and transferred to Falmouth University to study Marine and Natural History Photography.
I’ve been fortunate enough to go on some amazing adventures, both locally and internationally, in pursuit of visual storytelling. My most recent project, Herders, took me on a solo trip to the remote Mongolian wilderness. It was an intimate look at a nomadic family living in the heart of the Mongolian steppe. It documents their daily routine as they honour and preserve their traditional culture, even as it collides with the 21st century and modern technology. I wanted to offer a glimpse into this often romanticised way of life, showing the gritty reality of continuing the traditional practice of pastoral herding in the contemporary world. Their connection, appreciation and understanding of their environment is incredible. Skills have been passed down through generations to allow them to read the weather and watch the movements of the sun to navigate their territories.
Herding is a way of life for many Mongolians, and is symbolic of the country’s culture. However, due to rural-tourban migration, a booming mining industry, the effects of global warming and modern influences, this existence is under threat. This is often a side of Mongolian culture that’s rarely represented. I wanted this project to act as a reminder of the beauty that can be found in a simple life by simple means. It represents the fragile connection between humans and nature, which I believe is something that we’ve lost touch with in today’s modern world. Jade Sellick is studying Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University. jadesellick.com