In pictures: Nepal after the earthquake
“The first people I shot were Anu Shrestha and her mother [pictured, above],” says photographer Aubrey Wade. “Anu said to me ‘everybody knows what it feels like when your home suddenly vanishes’. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I didn’t think that was true. We can imagine, but few people really know.”
The day after the 25th April earthquake, Aubrey Wade travelled with Oxfam to Nepal to document the people affected and what was left of their homes. Four months later, we talked to Wade and two of his subjects about life, loss and a country’s attempt to rebuild. These are some extracts from the feature published in DG #19.
Aubrey Wade, photographer: “The woman walking past the rubble holding the child [pictured above right] was absolutely destitute. At that point she was sleeping between two cars, her husband was absent and she was desperate. She was isolated from the community and very much alone.
I think the picture of the doorframe [above left] gives a sense of what was lost. How do you change a pile of rubble back into a home? The lady who lived in this house was inside when the earthquake struck and survived its collapse when it fell down. She first pulled herself free and then rescued her son, who was in hospital at the time the picture was made.”
Roshana Manandhar, student: “Before the quake, I didn’t like my house because it was made of mud and there were cracks in the walls and the floor. Now it is gone I miss it so much. Afterwards we lived in a bus in the field next to the school where my mum teaches. There were 70 people in six buses. I cried for three nights when they told me to sleep in the bus. That is where I met Aubrey and he took my photo.”
Sunil Singh, teacher: “Our house fell down in the earthquake. On the third night [after the quake], my family and I moved into our grocery. Four months on we have moved up to the first floor above the shop. We are not sure how long it will survive: the government has talked of widening the street and our building is apparently too close to the street. We have two rooms for my parents, my brother and me. We sleep, work, cook and eat within these rooms. It is very scary when a storm blows or when it rains. Just last night we felt our house shake, this time with thunder – the earth hasn’t stopped shaking.”
We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from our story ‘The earth hasn’t stopped shaking’, which appeared in Delayed Gratification #19. For more from Wade, Manandhar and Singh, buy the issue in our shop. You can support Oxfam’s Nepal Earthquake appeal here.
Slow Journalism in your inbox, plus infographics, offers and more: sign up for the DG newsletter. Sign me up
Thanks for signing up.