Photographers Rally to Stream Images for Earthquake Relief with @nepalphotoproject
To learn more about the Nepal earthquake crisis and relief efforts, receive updates and follow @nepalphotoproject on Instagram.
“Growing up in Kathmandu was magical,” says Sumit Dayal (@sumitdayal) reflecting on his childhood in Nepal. “At the time, literally a small quaint Kingdom. A home with a small cowshed and an orchard in the backyard. A larger than life tree towering over an old temple, stretching its long arms over the entire neighborhood.”
For the New Delhi-based photojournalist, whose family had moved from Kashmir to Kathmandu a generation ago, the past year has been marked by seasons of disaster. In the fall of 2014, torrential rain and floodwaters engulfed his family’s ancestral home in Srinagar, and less than two weeks ago, a massive earthquake struck Nepal, where his parents still live, killing thousands of people, and obliterating entire villages. “She broke down,” says Sumit, describing the moment when he reached his mother by phone. “She was in shock and completely shaken.”
He flew back to Kathmandu, while aftershocks were still rocking the city, and rallied a team of photographers from across the region to participate in a collective Instagram account called @nepalphotoproject, streaming real-time updates to aid organizations and families desperate for news of loved ones. While describing his network as “anarchic,” Sumit has been stunned by the group’s impact, as his team scouts out areas in need of assistance, passing on imagery and even GPS coordinates to crisis responders, and directing offers for donations to volunteer groups on the scene. “We’re not chasing news trails or going out there to do devastation porn,” he says bluntly. “We’re telling the stories the way they are and putting these visuals to work in a more practical, purposeful ways.”