Mustang in Black and White

Photographs by Kevin Bubriski
Text by Sienna Craig

M ustang, Nepal, is known for its vibrant landscapes – blue skies, vermillion-colored cliffs, fluted canyons of deep ochre. It is a tapestry of Himalayan culture and history, a social and economic crossroads for trade, tourism, and Tibetan tradition. Today, the people of Mustang are navigating significant transformations: from the impacts of climate change across this rain shadow landscape to the lived effects of outmigration on communities who have relied for centuries on agriculture, pastoralism, and their role as culture brokers between the Tibetan plateau and Hindu South Asia. Mustang in Black and White captures this area’s elemental qualities, revealing the enduring cultural foundations and shifting daily rhythms of Himalayan village life. Kevin Bubriski’s masterful black-and-white portraits of this place and its people are coupled with Sienna Craig’s thick descriptions of what is, and is not, seen through the eye of the camera. Against the grain of glossy, idealized images of Tibetan and Himalayan lifeworlds, Mustang in Black and White illuminates the quotidian beauty and cultural complexity of this region.