on the button Issue 41 - Page 10

Aftershock During the summer I planned a project based around documenting the impact of aid agencies and charities following the earthquakes in Nepal in April 2015. Words and images by Chris Gravett Although I have achieved some modest success with previous documentary projects I do not yet have the reputation to enjoy commissions for my work so in August/September I used Crowdfunder UK in order to finance my project. I am pleased to say the Crowdfunder was successful and I was overwhelmed by the local support I received from Arlesey, friends, acquaintances and many people I hardly know. So on 4th November I set off to see for myself how Nepal was coping six months after the earthquake and what support was being provided by charities, aid agencies and NGOs. I worked with some of the smaller, focussed charities that are addressing the long term impact of the earthquake on people, especially women and children. I quickly learnt that earthquake damage is not all about damaged buildings and infrastructure but about more subtle human issues covering psychological problems, human trafficking, compounded effects of extreme poverty, displacement, gender disparity and abuse – the list is endless. With One Heart World-wide, a charity who replaced rural maternity units destroyed by the earthquake with mobile birthing clinics (tents) powered by Solar Suitcases. The units are fully equipped maternity units. I witnessed the birth of the baby above at one of the remote units. I also spent a lot of time with Kidasha, (Kidasha.org) a charity focussing on supporting children in Nepal across the breadth of challenges they face. The charity has been working, solely in Nepal for about 30 years. The regular issues they deal with have simply been amplified by the earthquake. During next year I will continue to work with Kidasha helping them get their message across and raise funds through my work. There is not room here to share the many experiences I had in Nepal and to document the numerous aid stories I have to tell. There will be exhibitions, photo essays and a book to do that. Plus there are blogs and posts online. Here are just a couple more images from the project that is called AFTERSHOCK. A thirteen year old girl (left) looks after her siblings in a Pokhara slum whilst her parents have returned to their destroyed village in Dhading District, over 200km away. A family of eight live in this little shack (right) on waste ground in Kathmandu after being evacuated from Ghorka by helicopter the day 10 | January 2016 | after the earthquake. All they had were the clothes they were in at the time, six months later they have little more. They have received no aid what so ever. A young girl (above) does her English homework outside what was the family house now destroyed by the earthquake. She now lives with her brother and Grandfather in a corrugated tin shack nearby. Chris Gravett has lived in Arlesey for 40 years. Following a career and lifestyle change in 2011 Chris studied photography at the University of Westminster graduating with a BA (Hons) Photography with First Class Honours in June 2015. His favourite genres are documentary/social documentary and music photography. “Aftershock” is Chris’s third documentary project – and will feature in two exhibitions in London next year. A solo exhibition in collaboration with and in aid of Kidasha in Shoreditch at the end of April then in June a collaboration with two other photographers in an exhibition “Yesterday’s News” at Platform, Southwark. Chris hopes to ultimately publish a photo book on the project. Aftershock blog etc: http://leflic17.tumblr.com https://www.instagram.com/ leflic17/ http://www.chrisgravett.com on the b