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Inside the clandestine mines of Nalaikh

By Anaïs Jumel and Olivier Laban-Mattei. (…) Taking over the former veins of the Soviet site neglected by the young and rising Mongolian democracy, hundreds of clandestine miners go down every day in there. About ten meters deep into the ground, with extreme work conditions, on the fringe of the legality. They succeed in digging countless holes and drifts, all over the area, and thus multiplying the collapsing risks. The miners are nicknamed coal ninjas insofar as they behave in the same illegality as the clandestine gold washers, the ninjas.

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Traditional Mongolian Contortion: An Endangered Heritage ?

By Tristan Lefilleul and Olivier Laban-Mattei. Mongolian contortionists are world-renowned as the best in their field. They are recruited by the most prestigious exhibitions and circuses, presented with the most distinguished awards, and considered to be the most esteemed models of the profession. Believed to be a powerful vehicle of social mobility, this art form attracts people from all over Mongolia. Mongolian children dream to become contortionists and parents often wholeheartedly support that decision. Private contortionist schools can charge high enrolment rates, facilitating ample financial gains for school managers, which sometimes leads to their corrupt behavior.

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