Social Documentary Photography – Nepal, One Year After The Earthquake

Women strap baskets to their foreheads to carry building rocks.
Barpak

 

Photographer Matteo Fabi @ Blobally is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Gorkha: One Year Later‘. To see Matteo’s portfolio click on any image.

 

Nepalese men wearing the typical topi hat. (Bhachchek).

Nepalese men wearing the typical topi hat.
Bhachchek

 

A woman awaits the coach at the Bhachchek “bus station”.

A woman awaits the coach at the Bhachchek “bus station”.

 

The aim of “Gorkha: One Year Later” is to shed a light on the severe conditions affecting the life of rural communities in this corner of Nepal.

 

6. A farmer in front of his shelter, buffalo and wife. (Bhachchek)

A farmer in front of his shelter, buffalo and wife.
Bhachchek

 

There is little time for games. Kids soon learn on the job. (Chipleti)

There is little time for games. Kids soon learn on the job.
Chipleti

 

I was in Nepal on that 25 April 2015, when a massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit, leaving over 9000 people dead. One year later, I came back to this beautiful country. I made my way to the root of the calamity, trekking throughout the Gorkha district, until eventually reaching Barpak, considered the epicentre of that natural disaster.

 

16. Family life in a courtyard at Barpak.

Family life in a courtyard
Barpak.

 

The streets of Barpak keep on oozing precariousness

The streets of Barpak keep on oozing precariousness

 

Geometry of wood, drawn with hammer and nails. (Barpak)

Geometry of wood, drawn with hammer and nails.
Barpak

 

To obtain different cuts, women smash stones with mallets. (Barpak)

To obtain different cuts, women smash stones with mallets.
Barpak

 

I engaged with locals, shared meals with them and spent my nights in their houses. I witnessed the precarious conditions they live in, one year later. People cope with lack of water and electricity. Most of the buildings are still reduced to rubble.

 

7. The students of the “Shree Janjyoti Higher School” in Chipleti spent the academic year in tin-plated classrooms, without electricity.

The students of the “Shree Janjyoti Higher School” in Chipleti spent the academic year in tin-plated classrooms, without electricity.

 

The Nepalese government received plentiful aids from the international community, but due to widespread corruption and political inefficiency, most of these funds cannot be accessed. To date, the process of rebuilding, especially in Gorkha and surrounding hilly areas, languish. Meanwhile, people struggle, living in tents and tin-plated shelters.

 

1. A family in Nepani. Their house shows the scars left by the quake.

A family in Nepani. Their house shows the scars left by the quake.

 

2. The local army chief supervises the construction of new barracks in Bhachchek.

The local army chief supervises the construction of new barracks.
Bhachchek.

 

Youngsters are often taken along on the construction sites. (Bhachchek)

Youngsters are often taken along on the construction sites.
Bhachchek

 

I had the honour of cooperating with the Gorkha Foundation, a no-profit organization which is involved in the reconstruction of several schools across the district. In most of the cases, classes are still held in temporary structures, lacking of fundamentals as chessboards and electricity.

 

11. Bamboo, light and abundant, is a quake-proof feature in temporary schools, as here in Birsingh.

Bamboo, light and abundant, is a quake-proof feature in temporary schools
Birsingh.

 

Pupils of the “Shree Janjyoti School” explore the new building under construction. (Chipleti)

Pupils of the “Shree Janjyoti School” explore the new building under construction.
Chipleti

 

Ganesh Shreshta, District Coordinator of Gorkha Foundation, oversees the construction of the new school in Chipleti.

Ganesh Shreshta, District Coordinator of Gorkha Foundation, oversees the construction of the new school.
Chipleti.

 

A book lies among the rubble of the school in Ghyachchok

A book lies among the rubble of the school.
Ghyachchok

 

15. A smile appears amid the ruins of Ghyachchok.

A smile appears amid the ruins of Ghyachchok.

 

4. Weaving, as other “daily arts”, follows long-standing standards. (Bhachchek)

Weaving, as other “daily arts”, follows long-standing standards.
Bhachchek

 

13. A Gurung old woman wears traditional clothes and jewels. (Nimki)

A Gurung old woman wears traditional clothes and jewels.
Nimki

 

Nevertheless, Nepalese people show great resilience, working hard and never refusing to smile in the face of the adversity.

 

See also:

Transylvania

By Matteo Fabi

 


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