Ciril Jazbec

April 6, 2018

Ciril Jazbec talks about an almost mystical experience in the high mountains of Bhutan.
"I travelled to Bhutan after reading some fascinating facts about this mountainous country. During our expedition to the remote settlement of Laya, I had the privilege of staying with a local yak-herding family. One day we took off to their summer camp on the Masanggang mountain, at around 4,500 m above sea level. This is where they keep some 40 yaks – 20 of which are males – for several months.

When we first arrived, all I could see were female yaks, which are similar in size to European cows. It was not until the evening that the fifty-year-old yak herder, Tshering, rounded up all the male yaks. Their sight took my breath away because these creatures seemed like they had just arrived from another planet. There was very heavy rainfall, and they were running to our camp from all possible corners of the mountain. Tshering told me to stay out of the way and be very careful with my movements.

I was told that Tshering was about to perform a monthly ritual with all the male yaks, whereby he pushes them to the ground and then pours salt into their throats. The practice is thought to keep their bodies strong and Tshering takes it very seriously. It may look cruel and harsh but in reality, he and the yaks were dancing in the rain! This photo moves beyond a purely documentary moment, and hopefully conveys something almost mythical."

See further images of Ciril Jazbec in the new issue of LFI.
Text und Bild: © Ciril Jazbec

Ciril Jazbec+-

Ciril Jazbec_portrait
© Ciril Jazbec

Born in Slovenia in 1987, Jazbec first studied Management in Ljubljana, followed by Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, graduating with an MA in 2011. He won the 2013 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award for his Waiting to Move series, portraying a village in Alaska impacted by climate change. The same year, he received at award at Les Rencontres d'Arles for his photo story, On Thin Ice, with which he also won Magnum’s 30 under 30 competition in 2015. He has received numerous further award since then. His work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, Geo Deutschland and Neue Zürcher Zeitung, among others. He is also a co-founder of TENT Film. More