Inner Mongolia and the impact of desertification | VPRO Documentary

In inner Mongolia the impact of desertification hits hard on the inhabitants. Nomads used to move if herds needed new and fresh grassland. With climate change the grassland is turning into a desert. Inner Mongolia is facing a desertification that costs many Mongolian their work and home. But not only the impact of desertification is a problem, also the mines are causing a lot of pollution. How are people in inner Mongolia living with the impact of desertification?

In the past 30 years life for people in China has changed drastically. The third world country has become one of the world leaders and still most of us don´t know a lot about China and their habitants. How is internet access, how is life as a homosexual and why is football so popular? Photographer Ruben Terlou wants to know all that and much more. He starts a new journey through China and travels from North to South, from the steppes to the tropics. While doing that, he tries to look for answers to his questions with a camera in his hand.

The first episode starts in the inland of Mongolia, where climate changes have major consequences for both ranchers and miners. Persistent droughts caused by climate change draw heavily on the lives of Mongolian herders and miners in the far north of China. On the yellowed grassland horse races and wrestling contests are still held. But many cattle farmers are forced to move, as the grassland turns into a desert.

Photographer Ruben Terlou visits the inland of Mongolia with a guide and meets locals that are victims of the climate change. On his journey he sees how the mines destroy the landscape and assists an operation of a horse.

Original title: Mijnen en woestijnen (1/7)
Director: Maaik Krijgsman
January 2018

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