Walking and Bricks
I have been spending my afternoons walking around Kathmandu. Whenever I see bricks (and there are a lot of them here) I think of my friend Richard Pieper. He loves bricks. It is nice to be a photographer as it is impossible to ever be bored. I see bricks, I think of Pieper, I see motor scooters and I am interested because I have a Vespa, I see people giving water to a stray, injured dog and I am touched, I see rivers and I think of Peter Carroll’s brother Alan who worked on water quality here a long time ago, and I see young children reading and I think of all the work Cris does in helping kids become literate. I see these things, but I don’t always photograph them. I am a bit self conscious about poking a camera into the lives of people who are just going about their days. It always takes me a while to be comfortable, and the only way I can do so is to engage with the people I see. It is a bit more difficult in a place where many speak only a bit of English, and I speak no Nepali. But after today, I am beginning to see things that I want to photograph, and I know I will eventually wrap my head about how to go about it. So today I am showing you bricks.
And another representation of Krishna.
Here is the Bishnumati River. I almost didn’t take this picture, and I almost didn’t post it here because it felt exploitative in a way. Coming to a place like Kathmandu and pointing out what we Westerners think of as being messed up largely misses the point. Water quality is a huge issue here. This river is everything from a sewer to a rubbish heap and then some. It is easy for me to say it should be cleaned up. And it is easy for governments and NGOs to put money into doing just that. But it is not easy, and there are a lot of people putting a ton of effort into sorting this problem out. I just wonder what it will take. Somewhere at its source this river came out of the mountains clean and pure. Along the way it became this. I’m not really sure how to end here, but it is important for me to be a little optimistic, which I guess I still am. Maybe someday.