Bökh A photography project by Ken Hermann

“When a boy is born in Inner Mongolia, his family pray for him to become a wrestler. This ancient tradition is the cornerstone of Mongolian culture dating back centuries to Genghis Khan’s reign when he used it to keep his soldiers battle-ready.

Khan famously compared wrestling to war: in both, you face enemies who are stronger and more powerful than you, and you must attack. It’s a sentiment these young wrestlers keep very much in mind. This unique form of wrestling governs status for young men within the community, as it is used as a marker of manliness. These bouts take place in the remote and desolate grasslands, empty to the horizon except for a few scattered yurts and flocks of sheep.

Mongolian wrestling feels like a dance. Opponents meet in the ring with hands outstretched, moving around each other until one of them takes the lead. They engage in long, dramatic grapples, which at times resemble intimate embraces. In an instant, it’s over. One trip. One lift. One throw. And it’s done.”

– Discover more of Ken’s work here

Monthly Photo Contest

color portrait of an elderly woman by Can Sever
© Can Sever

2022 Visual Storytelling AWARD Deadline: 31 January 2022

The art of visual storytelling encompasses a wide range of possibilities with at its heart, the will to tell a story.

From classic social documentary to imaginative storytelling: this month we are seeking visual artists aiming to captivate; unique voices willing to share their stories with conviction and awareness.⁠

Portrait, street, documentary, landscape: All approaches are valid. Enter now and show us YOUR stories!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

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