From Spirits to Superfans

If nothing else, 2016 has demonstrated the unexpected power of a popular mythology to capture people’s hearts, minds, and wallets. Among the more demonstrations of this fanaticism is Pokémon Go, a GPS-based, augmented reality smartphone game that rebooted the global pop culture phenomenon of Pokémon.

The Art of Eight Limbs

Muay Thaai, otherwise known as ‘The Art of Eight Limbs’, is Thailand’s form of boxing that makes lethal use of eight contact points of the body, including the hands, shins, forearms, knees and feet. It has become one of the primary reasons for martial arts devotees to visit the country – from the serious practitioner training for the next fight, to the casual tourist looking for a little physical conditioning between days on the beach.

Love Without Boundaries

They sound like customs that belong to a forgotten culture of an ancient community. The Mosuo people do not traditionally marry, but engage uninhibitedly in consensual relationships with different and often multiple partners

Revisiting the Samurai

Today it is Tokyo but once, many lifetimes ago, the same city was Edo, the imperial capital of Japan. Amidst the marks of modernity – the skyscrapers, the flyovers and the neon signs – are hidden hints of a world many think are lost, but which are just waiting for the eagle-eyed to discover.

Pilgrims to the Centre of the Earth

They were all waiting for the same thing. When a squawking chicken tumbled over the volcano’s rim into their line of sight, nets moved in unison trying to predict the hapless fowl’s trajectory. Only one villager might have enough luck to bag the bird; while others can only wait for more to come.

Reviving the Ancient Silk Road

Oval faces and almond eyes characteristic of the ethnic Han Chinese people are hardly seen in this oasis city at the northwestern tip of the country, located almost 4,000 kilometres from Beijing. Belonging to the Uyghur ethnic minority, the people of Kashgar are of Turkic origin, following the Islamic faith and with Central Asian physical features.

Freya Stark, the Passionate Nomad

You should be careful which books you give your daughters, because you never know what irrepressible, adventurous spirit they might engender. For Freya Stark (1893–1993), the desire to escape and explore was sown on her ninth birthday when she was given One Thousand and One Nights, the famous collection of Arabian tales.

A Totem of her Generation

Identifying herself as a Franco-Belgian photographer of Chinese origin from Malaysia, Diana’s transient life between three different continents has informed most of the philosophy behind her photography. Diana explores the ancient ritual of adorning women with symbolic clothing, religious objects, amulets and heirloom jewellery. Her purpose is to fuse the past and the present, the traditional and the modern, and to effectively create new possibilities of defining a woman’s identity.

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