SPECIAL: 2005 High Asia Calendar
High Asia is a region of extraordinary diversity in both peoples and landscapes. One can find there warlords and gun-toting girl revolutionaries and armies out of control. But of course it is also a region with a long, rich, complicated history; natural landscapes encompassing highest mountains, wettest forest, driest desert; and many, many other peoples than these icons of violence. Among the many people who live here are farmers, poets, heroes, mothers, teachers--far more likely to be peaceful than ferocious. They have a common high-altitude homeland, and share all the vulnerability of the world's mountain peoples and places.
Mountains create distinctive natural environments and shape unique human living spaces. The physical stresses of altitude and terrain are part of the distinctiveness of mountains as homelands. Mapping the cultural landscapes of High Asia reveals an extraordinary diversity of mountain-dwelling groups. Rugged refuges, mountains have long been harbors for displaced peoples crowded out of more productive plains areas by stronger competitors. High Asia's mountains shelter a great variety of peoples who retreated to the safer highlands, whether 500 years or 5 days ago seeking a haven from political and economic processes dominated by plainsmen and other powerful outsiders.
The United Nations' Declaration of 2002 as The Year of the Mountains acknowledges this distinctiveness, and seeks to bring attention and assistance to mountain peoples.
This exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Barbara and Galen Rowell, extraordinary photographers and global citizens who used their art to create understanding and awaken appreciation of the beautiful and vulnerable worlds of the earth, including High Asia.
THE WILDNESS WITHIN US