Call for Papers

By Sunil Pun|July 5, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

Epicentre to Aftermath: Political, social and cultural impacts of earthquakes in South Asia Conference 10-11th January 2019 at SOAS University of London The immediate effects of earthquakes are visible: lost lives, displaced people, destroyed houses and shattered cultural heritage sites. Take a longer view, however, and earthquakes are often associated with profound political and social transformation. Such change may be given momentum by the shock of the disaster, the desire

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Building the SWAY Digital Library

By Sunil Pun|May 9, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

The Sway research team has now collected more than 1600 documents for the project’s digital library, and the cataloguing effort is ongoing. These items, in both Nepali and English, include articles, reports, essays, blogs and op-ed articles published in newspapers, periodicals. journals, and online news portals and platforms. Many items published online have already become inaccessible and irretrievable in their original locations. Hence, this collection is already proving to be

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A Field Note on Writing the History of Disasters by Yogesh Raj

By Sunil Pun|March 14, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

The 2015 Nepal Earthquake was certainly followed by increasingly complex public discussions. There was diversity in the background and location of the discussants and participants, and in the kinds of action and policy research that followed the immediate rescue and relief operations. ‘Resilience’, ‘relief and reconstruction’, ‘build-back-better’ and ‘community-led processes’ became buzzwords. ‘Disaster’ was a new password for doing serious business in both the aid and development sectors. All sorts

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Rebuilding ‘Homes’ or ‘Houses’? by Jeevan Baniya

By Sunil Pun|March 14, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

During the last two months, I have made multiple visits to some areas of two earthquake affected districts, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok, where two striking observations led me to write this piece. One was that many villagers had either finished laying the foundations of their houses, or were in the process of doing so. The second was the pattern of building designs adopted for the reconstruction of their houses. These observations

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Rebuilding Cultural Memories And Kasthamandap By Stefanie Lotter

By Sunil Pun|March 14, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

With a sturdy blue zinc roof protecting its foundations, the site of Kasthamandap, the oldest and largest communal building in Kathmandu, now looks ready for all weathers. The transition from ruin to restoration lengthened visibly as the corrugated roof replaced the red and blue tarpaulin which previously lay over the site. Waterproof cloth covers of various sizes had marked the previous attempt by the community group ‘Rebuild Kasthamandap’ (http://www.rebuildkasthamandap.com) to

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Nepal’s Remembered Earthquakes by John Whelpton

By Sunil Pun|March 14, 2018|Uncategorized|0 comments

The earthquake of 25 April 2015 and the following aftershocks were only the last in a long series which have affected the Himalaya and adjoining regions since the Indian plate began sliding under the Eurasian plate between 55 and 35 million years ago. The vamsavalis (chronicles) composed in the Kathmandu Valley provide a record of major tremors, starting with the one of 1223. Since the 19th century this has been

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The Dharahara and the Nepali public by Michael Hutt

By rk24|September 11, 2017|Uncategorized|0 comments

Questions about public memory, history and identity often arise in the aftermath of a major natural disaster.  When the earthquake that struck east-central districts of Nepal on 25 April 2015 destroyed the Dharahara, a 203-foot tower erected in Kathmandu nearly two hundred years ago, its ruined stump provided a focal point for many of them. Although it was unloved by most cultural historians, in the immediate aftermath of the 2015

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