On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, leaving over 8,000 dead. The epicenter was Barpak, in an isolated region northwest of Kathmandu where news is slow to arrive, as was humanitarian aid.
To reach Barpak, you set off from Gorkha, the main town in the district of the same name, and hike many hours over steep hillsides and unsteady ground prey to rockslides. Finally, you arrive at a scene of apocalyptic devastation. Of Barpak’s 1,400 homes, only 20 remain standing. The rest of the village is a pile of rubble that blends into the rocky landscape. An archway that somehow survived the quake greets visitors with a rueful “Welcome to Barpak”.
Higher up and further along a road that no longer exists lies Laprak. Or rather, what remains of Laprak: whole sections of the village have been swept away by rockslides. Residents ed and set up a makeshift camp higher up on the one piece of at ground they could nd in their mountainous region.
The sound of hammer on rock rings out over these villages. While the Indian army continues rescue efforts to nd the last of the victims, villagers are already hard at work rebuilding—by hand, one stone at a time.
Renaud Philippe, independent photojournalist and founding member of the stigmat photo collective, lives in quebec City. He has worked in several countries (Haiti, India, Nepal, Thailand, Kenya, Tunisia) on the theme of exclusion, exile, the drama of those who had to leave everything.
Awarded several times, gold national Magazine, flash forward award from the Magenta foundation’s, grand prizes from quebec’s association of independent journalists (aJiq) and quebec’s professional journalists’ federation (antoine desilet), renaud is represented by hans Lucas.