[Photo Story] Kathmandu; Once The Most Beautiful City in Asia, Now An Open Sewer

[Photo Story] Kathmandu; Once The Most Beautiful City in Asia, Now An Open Sewer
家中的三名男孩。
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By JAN MØLLER HANSEN

Meeting people who live along the Bagmati River in the Kathmandu Valley.

BACKGROUND

Kathmandu was once one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Asia with its beautiful temples, stupas, palaces, rivers, forests and rice fields. The old black and white photos of the former royal photographers provide us with evidence of how Kathmandu and the Valley looked like 50 or 100 years ago. The Bagmati river was the life of the Kathmandu Valley. Today it is a completely different story. The river has become an open sewer for the capital and its neighboring cities.

I have known Kathmandu for 30 years and also lived in the city in the early nineties. Today, 25 years later, I live in the same area in Maharajgunj in the Northern part of Kathmandu. 25 years ago we were overlooking beautiful water streams and rice fields. The road through Bansbari – the bamboo forest – and the rice fields was wonderful. Now there are just concrete houses and workshops everywhere.

Many migrants from the lowland Terai and the hill districts settle in the capital every year in search of new livelihood opportunities and better services. Many are living illegally on public lands along the Bagmati river and its tributaries.

住在巴格瑪蒂河(Bagmati River)沿岸貧民窟的小女孩。

A girl who lives in a slum along the Bagmati river.

沿著巴格瑪蒂河挑揀垃圾。

Sorting garbage along the Bagmati river.

家中的兩位年輕婦女。

Two young women at home.

和家人一同住在公有土地上的馬加爾族(Magar,註一)女孩,她的家族畜養豬犬為業。

A Magar girl who lives with her family on public land. The family raises pigs and keeps dogs for sale.

母子共居在巴格瑪蒂河旁的貧民窟中。

Mother and son at home in a slum along the Bagmati river.

自家屋頂上的男孩。

A boy on top of his home.

尼泊爾首都加德滿都(Kathmandu)初冬的村落

Settlements in an early winter morning in Kathmandu.

和父母同住帳棚的女孩,她的父母為了找尋工作而居無定所。

A girl who lives in a tent with her family. Her parents move around in search of work.

新加德滿都市(New Kathmandu)旁常見的郊區。

A typical suburb in the New Kathmandu.

家中的三名男孩。

Three boys at home.

住在加德滿都市郊貧窟的男孩。

A boy who lives in a slum settlement in the outskirts of Kathmandu.

巴格瑪蒂河支流附近的村落住著馬加爾和故倫(Gurung,註二)兩族,他們替加德滿都的肉舖畜宰豬隻營生。

A settlement along one of the tributaries of Bagmati river. It’s a Magar and Gurung community that raises and slaughters pigs for the butcheries in Kathmandu.

加德滿都市郊的村落。

A settlement in the outskirts of Kathmandu.

一名在蔬果攤全職工作的男孩,他和家人一同住在加德滿都旁的貧民窟。

A boy who works at a fruit market from morning to evening. He lives with his family in a slum next to Kathmandu.

乾季的巴格瑪蒂河。

The Bagmati river during dry season.

加德滿都的肉舖貨源。

Slaughtering pigs for the butcheries in Kathmandu.

隨家人搬遷到加德滿都的女孩,她與家人住在巴格瑪蒂河旁。

A girl who has migrated to Kathmandu with her family. They live in a tent along the Bagmati river.

母子合影。在攝影時,她身旁的貓咪正盯上一隻又肥又胖的老鼠。

Mother with her baby. While I was taking the photo, the cat sitting next to her was picking on a big fat rat.

屋內的一家人。

Family at home.

家中的母親與嬰兒,她正為了在加德滿都加上工作的丈夫準備食物。

Mother and baby at home. She is preparing food for her husband, who works on the streets of Kathmandu.

DURING THE SCENE

Well, I just walk around and talk to people and learn about their lives. I learn about society and reality. We talk and I shoot a few frames. It often makes my day.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

There are many. But it is always the meeting with people that are the highlights of my photography work.

EQUIPMENT

Canon 1DX and Canon 5D Mark II with Carl Zeiss Otus and Canon EF L lenses.

EDITING SKILLS

A bit of editing with Capture One Pro 8.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Rinse has authorized publication of this article. The original text is published here: The Bagmati People