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 film portrait photograph of a young woman by Michelle Marshall
© Michelle Marshall

2021 Portrait AWARD Deadline: 31 May 2021

"In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Portrait photography has one of the oldest and most interesting histories that harkens back to the early days of the medium. Through portraits of iconic figures or ordinary people, we discover a deep interest in others.

Recent works or gems from your archives, classic or experimental, and through any kind of storytelling: we want to discover the most powerful and captivating images of today’s portrait photography. We are open to all interpretations and want to see faces that gaze right into the soul!


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

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