Friday, January 21, 2011

Back to the Afghan Pamir, dropping out for 1 month - Retour au Pamir Afghan, coupé du monde pendant 1 mois.

 Our world is over-connected, it's a bless and a curse. It's hard to find places without electricity or mobile reception. Without these 2 things, you are pretty much left alone. I am off today to one of this remaining "unconnected" place. My second winter expedition to the Afghan Wakhan - you can see the story I shot there in 2008 on my website ("Forgotten on the roof of the world"). I first trekked to this place over 10 years ago while living in Pakistan.

I spent the whole last 2 weeks preparing the trip, mainly stocking up again on warm gear. I am embarking on a film project, where I will be filming as well as photographing. A story that has been in the pipeline for a while.

I shall be in Kabul tomorrow, meeting up with the 3 other team member (two french: the director and other cameraman and an Afghani sound engineer). Then we will hop in a little chartered Zodiak plane - much like this one below, expect our pilot will look different - with 250 Kg of gear and fly near Sarhad, at the end of the Wakhan corridor.

Then we will trek for few days on the frozen Wakhan river (Pakistan to the south, Tajikistan to the North, China to the east), a caravan of probably 7 or 8 yaks - we will have over 600Kg of gear all inclusive - and hopefully reach the high altitude plateau of the Little Pamir, at 4300m,  4 or 5 days later. Then we will set up camp and start work on our project, focusing on the Afghan Kyrgyz. More about this later. Outside our tent it will be incredibly cold but it seems worth it - that's how it will look on an overcast day:

Of course, this plan is to be taken with a heavy dose of "inch'allah" - too many factors can alter it. But that's the beauty about it: being surprised. And certainly feeling incredibly lucky this is even happening at all!

Over to you, I am off and out, back in 1 month...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"The Forgotten" webdocumentary trailer on Geo website

Here it is, quite timely as I am heading back up to the Afghan Pamir in about a week, for another winter expedition (this time with a film team): our 5mn trailer on the Afghan Kyrgyz is featured on Geo's website, have a look.

© Matthieu and Mareile Paley - -

Le trailer de 5mn de notre webdocumentaire est en ligne sur le site allemand de Geo, vous pouvez le voir ici. Je retourne dans le Pamir Afghan cet hiver, départ dans une petite semaine...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mongolia book trailer - Mongolie, La route de l'Horizon - éd. de La Martinière

We put together this small 3mn trailer last month, following the publication of our latest book on Mongolia - here it is, hope you enjoy...

Nous venons de monter un petit trailer de 3mn, suite à la sortie de notre livre "Mongolie, la Route de l'Horizon"... et voila...

Mongolie, La Route de l'Horizon - un livre de Matthieu et Mareile Paley - Ed. de la Martinière from Matthieu Paley on Vimeo.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tajikistan, Passage to Pamir - article in Destinasian magazine, December 2010

Soon I will be off for 1 month in the Afghan Pamir, only eventually linked by a satellite phone. So I am trying to catch up... This is blog madness.
While we lived in Tajikistan, we also pitched Destinasian for a daring story on Tajikistan. I mean "daring", as it is a bit out of the way for the type of article they usually do (they are in the lines of Travel and Leisure, which will also feature some of my Tajikistan images this month). Destinasian usually does really beautiful layout, as they did for our Hunza story which won a price last year, see it here.

Here is the Tajikistan article, with Mareile's text...


Voila un artcile paru récemment dans Destinasian et écrit par Mareile, avec mes images, sur le Pamir, au Tajikistan!

Nepal, Annapurna trek, Geo publication, "Die Strasse", the road...

Last July I went for 10 days to walk some of the Annapurna trek for Geo magazine, as part of a special issue on the Himalayas. It's one of the legendary trek of the Himalayan world. I had done part of it over 10 years ago but since then, a jeep road has been built in the western side of the circuit, reaching to the holy shrine of Muktinath - mostly bringing Indians believers, who flew into Jomson village, then took the jeep to the base of the shrine, then horses to the shrine itself... minimal walking involved (question: does that defy the idea of a "pilgrimage"?). They are building a similar road on the eastern side of the Annapurna circuit.
I went with writer Tom Dauer, who when not on assignment, lives in a beautiful farm house at the feet of the Alps, 40Km south of Munich - great place to read, write and chop wood!
Here we are, after a quick dip in the holy spring of Muktinath (which washes from all sins! thanks goodness...) this ended up at the beginning of the magazine, an interesting contributor picture.

Voici quelques images ainsi que l'article publié dans Géo allemagne, suite à mon reportage sur la route qui se construit le long du célèbre trek autour des Annapurnas. Ci-dessous, me voila avec Tom Dauer, l'auteur de l'article... Ici aussi, un diaporama fait par Geo.

Geo did a small sideshow piece, and ask me to lay some words over it. Here it is in English or German, it summarizes the story quite well.

This is the resulting article from that story, came out in December 2010:


And these are some of the images that didn't make it into the story, life along the road...

Tajikistan - the roof of the world festival

Last year, we (= the paleyfamily = Mareile, our son iluka and myself) spent a few months in Tajikistan- you can see it here. We had a couple of projects planned but most of all, we wanted to spend some time to get to know Tajikistan better - allowing us to complete the picture of this region, having spend so much time in the neighboring countries. We were based in Khorog, at the heart of the Gorno-Badakhshan region. One of the project that we did, is producing a short movie to promote the "Roof of the World" festival. Mareile worked on the design part of the promotion of the festival itself as well as the editing of the short movie. I ran around taking pictures and filming. During the production part, we offered multimedia workshop to various Pamiri Tajiks enthusiasts... This is part of the "capacity building" that must take place while working for NGO (in that case, our client was the Aga Khan Foundation).
Here is the resulting video:

The Roof of the World Festival 2009 - Khorog, Tajikistan, all images ©Matthieu Paley from Matthieu Paley on Vimeo.