Gallery on the Guardian website

Asia, Leprosy, Nepal

Very pleased that the Guardian published a gallery of my photos on the Global Development section of their website this morning, to mark World Leprosy Day.

IMG_0892

The photos are a series I took while staying¬†in Khokana leprosy colony just outside Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu. You can view the gallery here:

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2015/jan/25/life-laughter-loss-nepal-leprosy-colony-in-pictures

Feel free to share it on facebook, twitter etc. ūüôā

Nepal out of a Car Window

Asia, Nepal, street photography

Sometimes you can spend hours trying to get a particular photograph but are never really satisfied with the result. And then you take a couple of single shots out of the window of the moving car that are far more appealing. Both these were taken while driving through Nepal last year.

IMG_2206aa

A man washes the dust from his body on the busiest road going out of Kathmandu. Nepal 2013

IMG_4456aa

Evening sun illuminates grasses in the Terai. Nepal 2013

A Dancing Devil in Nepal

Asia, General comment, Myanmar, Nepal

My first day after landing in Nepal last year was Saturday, a rest day. I was woken up to the sound of drumming and decided to wander down into the valley. In the small village of Tikabhairab¬†I came across two dancing devils, dancing in an energetic and antagonising manner around people until they coughed up some rupees. It was part of some festival, and we encountered a few more over the next week… stopping traffic until drivers gave a small donation. I’ve no idea where the money goes…

IMG_2062aa

Dancing Devil in the streets of Tikabhairab, Lalitpur Valley. Nepal, 2013

A Nepalese witch doctor at work

Asia, Documentary, General comment, Nepal, Shaimanism, travel

While I was photographing my leprosy project in rural Nepal last year I came across an intriguing scene just across from my hotel (a tidy £2 per night). A frail old man was laying down coloured powder into patterns outside a two story mud-and-wood house. There was a group of mainly middle-aged men gathered and with help from one of the leprosy field workers I was with found out that the old man, a Jhankri (the Nepalese equivalent of a witch doctor or Shaiman), was about to perform an exorcism on a young child who had been ill.

IMG_3198a

I watched as the Jhankri hung up a crab outside the door (covered in red powder, above) and began banging a saucepan covering his head. I watched the ceremony unfurl across two hours, with the patterned powder eventually getting swept away and the crab being trapped under a heated metal dish. Family and neighbours sat around chatting, occasionally observing when the Jhankri did something new.

IMG_3349a

My understanding is that going to the Jhankri before trying the clinic is still quite common in many of the more rural areas of Nepal.

A Gaunt Chitwan Elephant

Asia, General comment, Nepal, travel

I had the briefest of visits to Chitwan National park in Nepal last year – I was photographing my leprosy project in the town of Chitwan and the two social workers I was with wondered if I’d like¬†to do an elephant back ride. We went along to the entrance where they do them from.

I must say, this is quite a sensationalist image – the elephant looks particularly gaunt. Having said that, many of the elephants did look gaunt, and many of them were carrying 6 or 7 people. I hadn’t read much before about how cruel it is for elephants and what weight limits are ok for them, but as a result of what I saw, I didn’t feel compelled to ride on one and ultimately opted out.

IMG_2258a

Having said that, I’m well aware of the importance tourism has on maintaining National parks like Chitwan and the general economy of very poor countries like Nepal.

A Nepalese Market

Nepal, street photography, travel

Occasionally the light is so beautiful it dictates what you photograph. When I arrived at this market several miles outside of Janakpur in Nepal, I was photographing a woman for American Leprosy Missions. As I was finishing off the shoot I realised that the light coming through the tree at the other side of the market was beckoning…

IMG_0977a

Drive-by in Kathmandu

Asia, Nepal, street photography, travel

So, I’m finally beginning to go through work from Nepal and Bangladesh, while I’m at the end of my stay in Myanmar. I tend to shoot a lot whether I’m with the subjects of my assignment or at the end of a 9-hour drive on the way back from seeing them… like this shot was. I leaned over the guy next to me and stuck my camera out the window of the car. He was used to it by this time.

IMG_5015