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Out In The Cold

Sean Gallagher | Mongolia

The 3 million residents of Mongolia hang on the actions of the great superpowers of Russia and China that sandwich the country to the north and to the south. As the world experiences the effects of the global financial crisis, small countries such as Mongolia are feeling the effects as much as anybody, with nearly 40% of the country now below the poverty line.

Mongolians are feeling this vulnerability first hand, especially the homeless, who helplessly watch as the price of food rises due to rising inflation. Widespread unemployment has caused many social problems such as depression, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and crime.

The homeless communities of the country’s capital, Ulaan Baatar, are forced underground and into garage lots around the city. Living their lives in the shadows and sewers of the capital, they suffer from extreme discrimination and are denied access to basic health care.

As the economic crisis grips Mongolia, the homeless communities are pushed closer and closer to the brink of survival.

In November of 2008, I travelled to the Mongolian capital Ulaan Baatar in order to create a photo-essay on the lives of the homeless communities of this little known capital. Self-assigned, I wanted to create a reportage depicting the subtle effects that the economic crisis was having on Asia. What I found was a hidden population of people living in the sewers and shadows of the capital, shunned and ignored by the general populace. With inflation gripping the country, the lives of these communities were becoming more and more perilous pushing them ever closer to the brink of survival.

Website: http://www.gallagher-photo.com

Blog: http://www.gallagher-photo.com/blog

Email: sean@gallagher-photo.com

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