In the remote Tian Shan mountains, bordering China, and five hours away from Kazahstan's largest city, the town of Tekeli has experienced all the trials of post-Soviet economic and social dislocation. Once a mining center, the struggles and perseverance of the residents of Tekeli. is visible on the faces of the people. Gritty and industrial, the city is, in essence, a microcosm of the economic decline of industrial areas in a post-industrial age, especially because the aging population there cannot leave and the exodus of youth continues towards larger cities. Despite unemployment, insufficient pensions, and increasing isolation among this aging population, I have found, and tried to capture, in documentary photography, the beauty and warmth of a proud people determined to hold on to their roots and way of life in a place that as often as not feels like the end of the world.