Kyrgyzstan, the small land-locked country in Central Asia, is a realm of boundless peaks and high plateaus surrounded by impassable mountains. The Kyrgyz, a semi-nomadic people of horsemen, carry their cultural heritage with pride. The Tian Shan, also known as “The Celestial Mountains”, rise to an altitude of 7400 meters, forming a jewel box that contains inestimable treasures.
Among these treasures, we find the Kyrgyz horse, a breed that nearly disappeared during the Soviet era on account of extensive crossbreeding with Russian horses. Muscat Boruchev lives in the Ters Valley, in the west of the country, where he raises only Kyrgyz horses, concentrating his efforts on the spotted horse, the charat in Kyrgyz. Thanks to his initiative, the world can now appreciate the characteristics of this sturdy horse.
But Kyrgyzstan is not only known for its horses and mountains. Through the dust and heat of the dirt tracks in the south, one can sometimes catch sight of an odd vehicle. It’s the all-terrain eBilim bus, a mobile digital library that informs and educates the most remote, isolated communities of Naryn province. On board are Iliyaz Usenov and Kuban Moidinov, a pair of enthusiastic buddies who are on a mission to educate and empower their fellow Kyrgyzstani’s with knowledge.
One of those people looking to educate is Bastien Chaix. An ornithologist-slash-naturalist who fell in love with Kyrgyzstan and the close relationship the people have with nature, Bastien has been leading scientific expeditions for the NGO Objectif Sciences International since 2009. In an effort to make the youth of Kyrgyzstan aware of environmental issues, the organization funds expeditions with youngsters from the Karakol orphanage who’ve lost contact with the world of nature.
The story of how these individuals are preserving and promoting the cultural and natural heritage of Kyrgyzstan is one that must be seen to be believed. Watch “Somewhere on Earth,” a documentary that takes you on a journey through this incredible country, where the population lives in harmony with nature and carries their cultural heritage with pride. The documentary showcases Muscat Boruchev, Bastien Chaix, Iliyaz Usenov, and Kuban Moidinov’s efforts to educate and inform their fellow Kyrgyzstani’s about the importance of preserving their heritage.