Banner Photo Credit: Dhilung Kirat /Flickr
Jeff Greenwald plans to return to Nepal in a few months, to edit some photos taken by budding young photographers in Camp Hope. He has partnered up with Looking Glass, a California based photography store, to send back five digital cameras to children of the Camp Hope. Later in November, he also hopes to hold an exhibition of their photos in California.
What makes his project remarkable is the children involved and Camp Hope. In May last year, someone brought news to Dwarika’s Hotel, that some 350 people had been evacuated and air-lifted from Sindhupalchowk district, one of the worst hit areas by the April quake. A relief effort sprung up voluntarily and a tent city was created overnight, on a football field to house the recent evacuees.
Greenwald made his first visit to Nepal post-quake in October, looking for interesting and successful relief stories, when he came across the story of Camp Hope. There he met Laxmi, a 10 year old girl, who he believes he must have known in his previous life for their bond was instant and familiar.
Laxmi was not only his tour guide but also a spiritual guide, who hypnotized him with her “smart, defiant, articulate and self-possessed” nature. Over the course of his stay, Greenwald visited Camp Hope several times, to visit Laxmi and the other children in the camp. It was Laxmi again who inspired his current project, by surprising him with her “mature, insightful eye” for photography.
“Temporarily, for me at least, this chain of chance encounters has paused. Its energy has spilled into a cluster of village kids who, a year ago, could never have foreseen where life’s tectonic dance might take them. And though I dread earthquakes as much as any Nepali – my hometowns of Oakland and Kathmandu are sister cities in this respect – I find myself hoping that some of the tremors that began last April will continue for many months to come.” – Jeff Greenwald