is a project aimed to highlight the country's juxtaposition of traditional life against its modern development through the eyes of its young people.
This photo series attempts to provide a platform to show the paradoxical nature of development in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan by marrying images of traditional Bhutanese life, often imagined by foreigners through the government’s ecotourism policy, against the reality of a country that is rapidly modernizing.
I had first noticed the cultural implications of economic development onto the country’s national psyche during my time living in mountainous nation from 2011-2013. Towards the end of my stay, I began to photograph young people with this idea in mind. The distinctions between traditional and modern began to blur as I started exploring the hybrid identities of the Bhutanese. I am currently in Bhutan and am continuing to explore these ideas through stills and video.
This project seeks to examine the impact of global integration (culturally, economically, virtually) - and will ask: is Bhutan’s emerging capital of culture erasing, changing or redefining indigenous traditions?
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Phuntsho Wangdi, aka “DJ Pee,” is a straight-edge, buddhist deejay. He laments that his current weight holds him back from fully prostrating during pilgrimages. DJ Pee recalls his first night working at Thimphu’s biggest disco, “Space 34,” in 2008 as a “shaky experience,” spinning a mashup of house, hip-hop, and R&B.
Left: At Thimphu’s Memorial Chorten; Right: Behind the turntables at Space 34
Tashi Tshering loves NBA basketball, Thai food, and dancing to loud music.
Left: At Tachogang Temple, Chuzom: Right: Warming up at Paro’s basketball court