My mountain is my garden
My mountain knows everything
I am my mountain´s child: same bones, same skin
My mountain plays hide and seek
She made me on her endless anvil
My mountain is father and mother
My mountain flirts with the wind but longs for the hands of water
My mountain listens to me when I am silent
Who would I be without my mountain?
Even when I am afar, I always go back to her
The photo-poem “My Mountain” explores the interaction of landscape and human communities. It observes the sculpting power of the environment on who we are. Inspired by the children and shepherds living in Lesotho highlands.,“My Mountain” walks the viewer through the scenic Mountain Kingdom through the eyes of her people. Enclaved in South Africa, Lesotho is the only independent country in the world with its entire territory above 1000 meters altitude and, unlike in other African countries, snow and cold temperatures are common. Its unique beauty and enormous water resources are dangerously degrading because of climate change and intensive exploitation, often related to poverty and subsistence farming practices. Remote public services, declining economy, migration and the impact of AIDS have progressively altered the demography of the mountains currently featured by orphan children under the care of the elderly and seasonal herders settled in remote cattle posts. While most of the population concentrates nowadays in the lowlands, Lesotho cannot be conceived without the mountains which represent over two thirds of its land. Life is tough in the heights but I never found a single Mosotho who did not feel proud of the mountains. Basotho people love their mountains, maybe because they are a bit of those mountains themselves.
Borja Miguelez is a humanitarian professional, writer and photographer born in Leon (Spain) in 1976. He is currently based in Belgium, after two decades living in Asia, South America and Africa, working in response to humanitarian crises.
Borja has published two illustrated books: The Dragon’s Secret, 2012, and Los ojos de la piedra, 2017 (Sd edicions, Barcelona). Part of his photographic project “My Mountain” participated in the Art Site Fest 2021 exhibition “Shapes of Living. Living Earth”, Turin (Italy). Borja has also co-produced the documentary “Basotho voices: Human Security” (2013) and graphic educational material. His third book, “El mapa de los sueños”, will be released in 2023.