a multimedia documentary
Produced and researched by Shebana Coelho
Sounds for these segments were collected on a 2007 Fulbright fellowship 

There I was, an Indian woman on the move in a strange new land -  Mongolia - and it didn't feel so strange. So much resonated - especially the voices of other women - like Monjago, a nomadic herder, Munkhtsetseg, a horse trainer, Onika, a student, Amgalan, a language teacher and Jainaa, a singer. They made faraway feel like home.   

Produced for Outer Voices
Story Consultant/Executive Producer: Stephanie Guyer-Stevens 


WATCH the MULTIMEDIA documentary (images and audio)

LISTEN to the radio documentary

* Premiered Sat, October 20, at 12 pm on KUNM's Women's Focus, hosted by Carol Boss
Listen to my interview with Carol Boss 

A Formidable Woman
There are very few female horse trainers in
Mongolia - and Munkh-Tsetseg is one of
them. She trains fast horses for the annual
festival of Naadam. The first time we meet she
says, “ I’m half a century” and “Come visit.”
So I do. I go to her ger homestead in Hentii province.

Spring Days
Monjago is a nomadic herder who lives
with her family on the steppe of Eastern
Mongolia. Everyday, I shadow her -
herding cattle, milking cows, cleaning pens,
brushing cashmere. She’s always moving
…and I’m always struggling to catch up.

City Girl
Onika lives in the capital,
Ulaanbaatar and would like to set
the record straight - about
Mongolia, cities, horses, Harry
Potter and the ideal Mongolian

Peaceful Moments
Amgalan lost her leg in an
accident 12 years ago and “that’s when I
really began living,” she says. Her name
means peace and her words --on nature,
destiny, loss and rebirth--embody wisdom. 

One Fine Evening
Jainaa lives with her family in Bayan Olgii
province. She just graduated from college and is in
limbo, wondering whether work or marriage is
next.  One night, I ask her for a song – she starts,
her family joins in, and the moment grows into an
impromptu concert in which a girl on the cusp
faces the future with all the hope in the world

On the Move in Mongolia was produced for Outer Voices (outervoices.org)  which showcases the seldom-heard voices of women the world over working for peace and preservation of cultural wisdom.  Post-production funding by The Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund and The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation & Ikbal Nathani. 

Shebana Coelho is a writer and documentary producer. Her work has been broadcast on National Public Radio, BBC Radio Four, American Public Television and the Discovery Channel. She received a 2007 Fulbright Research Fellowship to Mongolia.