SWAY and ELMNR jointly organised a panel at the Kathmandu conference of Nepali and Himalayan Studies in July 2019.

SWAY and ELMNR (Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal’s Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction) jointly organised a panel at the Kathmandu conference of Nepali and Himalayan Studies in July 2019 with presentations by Bina Limbu, Manoj Suji, Michael Hutt, Mark Liechty, John Whelpton and Surendra Basnet covering aspects of the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes.

Research team member Bina Limbu discussed “… the rise of the one-roomed houses” and the ways that Nepal’s top-down reconstruction policies resulted in structures produced to meet housing grant guidelines, rather than the needs of earthquake-affected families.

Another team member Manoj Suji demonstrated, through a paper co-authored with Philippe Le Billon and Dinesh Paudel, the social impacts of disaster financialization that continue to be felt in Nepal – transforming cultural activities and increasing vulnerability for large swaths of the population through processes of dispossession, as householders bore the brunt of the costs and risks of reconstruction.

Jeevan Baniya, Anisha Bhattarai, and Sita Nepali explored discourses in Nepali newspaper od-ed pieces following the 2015 earthquakes and their role in creating ‘preferred’ viewpoints for understanding and critiquing the response and reconstruction.

Members of the SWAY team presented topics in dialogue with those above – from Prof. Michael Hutt’s analysis of the effects of disaster on Nepalese politics to Prof. Mark Liechty’s critical re-consideration of ‘causality’ to John Whelpton’s comparative look at past earthquakes in Nepali consciousness. These presentations often contextualized Nepal’s current post-earthquake reconstruction with the country’s experience of major earthquakes in 1934 and 1988, adding historical depth to the findings from contemporary research.