If you’ve spent time in Kathmandu Nepal, you’ve probably crossed over the Bishnumati River, most likely covering up your mouth and nose from the excruciating smell as you quickly walk the bridge. Over the years, I’ve lived with Nepali families in communities in Kathmandu. Everyday, walking to work I cross the Bishnumati Bridge, cluttered with mostly women and their children selling produce and small trinkets. As I rushed across the bridge holding my breath, I wondered how these people could work there everyday. My nose adjusted as time went on, and I started to notice the different vendors and what they were selling.
Most of the produce was outdated and stale. The trinkets were old and oddly placed. I learned that these people were struggling, homeless and trying to make it in the big city of Kathmandu.
One family caught my eye, a mother and daughter. Their clothes were torn and dirty and they had a small table selling old items. I would smile at them and in return they’d giggle and laugh. I started carrying my camera to work and shot them occasionally. They’d smile when they saw me and I’d get out my camera. Since I don’t speak Nepali I’d waggle my head – a foreign photographers way of asking for permission – and they’d waggle back, giving the go ahead. They’d straighten their backs and go straight faced – no smiles, just staring blankly as many Nepali people do in front of the camera.
Traveling around the world with my camera, I’ve taken many photos of the poor. Digital pixels of their existence are ongoing reminders of their desperate situation. No one has affected me more than these two.
Written by: Casey