The Underbelly of Kathmandu
(Kathmandu, Nepal)

Kathmandu being the urban center of Nepal, is also rapidly becoming the urban slum central.  As we travel through Kathmandu Valley, it was not the majestic Himalayan Mountains that captured our attention, but the rapidly deterioration of the whole valley and the endurance of the people living there.  The Underbelly of Kathmandu consists of the new slum areas popping all over the valley.  These areas are made up mostly of people displaced from their hillside villages due to the Maoist conflict in over the years or people from the lower caste (Dalits) who are just too poor to afford land.  The two main rivers, the Bagmati and the Bishnumati, which pass through the city of Kathmandu, are absolutely filthy with raw sewage and garbage.  With minimal access to waste disposal facilities, raw sewage and solid waste are often disposed of on the banks or in the rivers by locals and municipalities.  The sad thing is that these river areas are often the place where the new urban poor of Kathmandu find space to build their homes.

The Underbelly of Kathmandu is a series of the photographs of the urban poor in the valley.  The people of Nepal are what bring visitors back to Nepal over and over again.  The gentleness and resilience of these people is quite amazing despite the simmering crisis that exists.  The Underbelly of Kathmandu is little Nepal on its own, consisting of people from all areas of Nepal, all looking for a better future for their family, all looking towards the new government to lead them there.