Windows of Silent Poorness

I visited Bungamati just two days before the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

Bungmati village is the typical Newari village which lies south from Kathmandu city. Geographically, it is very close to the city but socially and culturally it is traditional village which is completely isolated from the modern life. What makes Bungamati special is the fact that it is a Newari village – a place where not much has changed over the last couple of centuries. My first impression from this place was that it is very far from the civilization, poor, abandoned and forgotten place. As I walked the streets of this medieval place with my camera I started to feel what the life here is looks like. The Newars, Bungamati citizens, live rustic lives, as their fathers and forefathers which lived long before them. This is still a rural area with poor farming communities and a lot of poverty. My attention was attracted by the old, unstable buildings, some of the them already with cracks, holes, unsafe roofs, damaged windows and narrow doors. And behind every window, on every door a child, a woman, a boy started to appear. For me the attraction in Bungamati was its people. I made a detour into the side streets to get closer with them. With some of them I managed to speak about their everyday life, difficulties and life struggles, with others just waved hands to say hello or pressed hands together giving a Namaste greeting. My aim was to picture them while they are on their window, at their door, at their poor homes because what I met there was their silent poverty.

Two days later 7.8 quake struck Nepal. Earthquake aftermath in Bungamati was horrible. The village was hit real hard by the quake and my thoughts are still there, with all these people that I met, spoke, shoot and frame behind their windows of poorness.

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