La Mongolie au fil du présent

Mongolia over the years

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To realize this parallel addition to the Albert-Kahn Museum’s Mongolian collection, three contemporary photographers were invited to offer their vision of Mongolia to the public.


In 1912, Albert Kahn created the “Planet Archives,” (Archives de la planète) by sending out his operatives to the four corners of the earth, their mission to record its different cultural realities on film and in photographs, in color. A hundred years later, a team from the Musée Albert-Kahn (Boulogne-Billancourt) wished to recall this project to the present-day world in respect for the spirit of its founder.

To realize this parallel addition to the Museum’s Mongolian collection, three contemporary photographers were invited to offer their vision of Mongolia to the public through the prism of changes the country has experienced over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries:
Lucile Chombart de Lauwe leads us into the intimacy of people’s homes to decipher the evolution of ways of life, with an emphasis on the sedentarization of nomads.
Sophie Zénon proposes a voyage into the complexity of Ulan Bator, in the topographical heart of a World-city that she chose to portray without its inhabitants.
A Yin shares with us the daily life of the last inhabitants of the steppes and delivers a view from the interior, stressing, in spite of apparent serenity, their inevitable disappearance.  

Texts by Lucile Chombart de Lauwe, Gaëlle Lacaze, Laetitia Merli, Valérie Perlès and Sophie Zénon.


Data sheet

Number of pages
20 x 25 cm
80 color illustrations
Publication date

Chombart de Lauwe (Lucile)

Lucile Chombart de Lauwe studied art at the École nationale supérieure d’art in Paris-Cergy, and then photography at the École nationale supérieure de la photographie in Arles. She now lives in Paris, where she joined the photographers association “Le bar Floréal“ in early 2010.

Yin (A)

A Yin is Chinese, he was born in Mongolia and still lives and works there.

Zénon (Sophie)

Before turning to photography in 2004, Sophie Zénon studied modern history and art history in Rouen, ethnology and religion studies in northern Asia shamanism in Paris, and then embraced various careers – bookseller, television documentalist, photography agency editor… As a self-taught photographer, she alternates work of a documentary order with that of an artistic, visual nature, but with the same fascination for all that touches on ritual, sacrament or mystery. A seasoned traveler, Sophie Zénon began her work in contact with new cultures first of all, notably those of Mongolia, Siberia and Cambodia, before coming back to the research themes she favors: disappearance, memory, transmission.

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