KAMALAN X The NEW YORKER

ROBBIE LAWRENCE & LEXIE SMITH

Earlier this year, at the beginning of the Ladakhi summer, we collaborated with photographer Robbie Lawrence and writer Lexie Smith to document the life of the region. Up on the roof of the world, where the wisdom of the heavens seemed within grasp, we encountered a people as ancient as the gods, yet as modern as the plastic they held in their hands.

This is photographer Robbie Lawrence (@robbiel1) and writer Lexie Smith (@leche_smith) coming to you with images and words from our time in Ladakh, a region in the Himalayas of North India, where we recently traveled for two weeks observing a culture both ancient and rapidly evolving. The photos are part of a larger series questioning the fate of the past as Ladakh hurdles into the future. The project was produced by @kamalantravels. • Bundled in all manner of felts and pelts, a ring of yak fur drawn round her like a moat, this child is the newest addition to a family of Changpa, the nomadic pastoralists who live in the Changtang Plateau, a high-elevation desert spanning India into Tibet. She’ll join the bevy of young ones, not still fresh faced (the wind and cold do away with that quickly), who have more opportunities than ever before, and as such, a future less known.

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