This is the beginning of a personal project on migration.
For a long time, the word “migration” has been associated with a lot of suffering and sadness and has brought the worst of human behavior into plain view.
I intend to depict migration in a positive way. We humans have been moving and migrating for thousands of years. This is called transhumance.
This challenging form of life goes hand in hand with nature and creates a special bond between people and animals; it brings communities together and encourages cooperation between individuals. Nomads usually have a difficult life, but this is what makes them stronger.
This nomadic lifestyle still happens everywhere in the world: there are nomads in many different cultures who travel for different reasons and with different animals. They occupy the most diverse landscapes and places. Each group faces distinct challenges and problems.
In today’s modern society, keeping this nomadic lifestyle alive is even harder, and it’s increasingly vanishing. Against all odds, however, some still preserve their traditions and live rich, meaningful lives.
Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve embarked in an overland journey from Southeast Asia to Europe looking for these varied transhumance movements. This is a long-term project that will bring me to many different countries and nomadic communities. I want to understand and illuminate the problems these people are facing. Their difficulties are mostly caused by the rules and changes imposed by the the modern world.
These big changes affect everyone: those who have been immersed in the system for a long time as well as people who have lived in a healthier parallel environment. Having both perspectives gives us a better understanding of how to improve our way of living as a whole.
There are many lessons to learn from this way of life. I believe that the time has come for us to question ourselves. We need to be wise enough to look back and ask how we’ve managed to survive for so long on our planet.
Editors’ Note: Ronald Patrick’s photographs will be shown at the 12th edition of the Angkor Photography Festival and Workshops which will run from December 3 to December 10, 2016 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.