A photographer's compendium



About the Project

The notion of exploring cultural and historical sites, in-depth and immersively, is not new. In a widely-saturated info-sphere, heritage and tradition can either face obscurity and misappropriation or lose the critical mass recognized as vital for preservation and resonance. Recent developments, spearheaded by UNESCO and other institutions, have built towards a digital heritage interface which could solve protracted challenges and bridge chasms in a thorough understanding of valued cultural spaces in Nepal. 


Project Design

A futurist vision of human habitation and natural ecology in the 21st century often proves to be Stygian given that the world has experienced unprecedented and rapid change in the recent past. Landscapes and culture, in this paradox, have succumbed to loss, degradation, appropriation and conflict that few can deny, withstand or ignore. Construction and structural systemics in Nepal were a foreboding for many inhabitants. The Gorkha earthquake left an immortal scar on the Nepali terrain and imagination. However, reconstruction is the final, logical conclusion for a country that does not equate to land and labour in ways that other nations do. The cultural and spatial continuum here imbibes many life sciences including the tenet of environmental balance. Energizing an otherwise dismal era, heritage reconstruction in the Kathmandu Valley summates a consolidation of the Nepali way of life. The doctrine of equity is prolific and personable as rendered by design, history and faith. We are what we build, too. 


Project Maps

Drawing from recent technological developments in mapping and localization, project maps are developed for a correct and verifiable picture of the reconstruction sites and areas. Interactivity is crucial for any public good - summary analyses of place-based impacts and inherents resonate well beyond the casual hometown ideal. Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Earth Studio and Google Earth Pro were used to build small, area-based maps with ecological and spatial dynamics guiding the project design. Mapbox Studio and ESRI-ArcGIS helped unearth dynamics through which a big picture is emergent – features in the mapping toolboxes are used to explore required pivots. The Earth Series Project maps delineate but also demarcate and describe, through satellite imagery, our heritage spaces with a high degree of accuracy and geo-spatial intelligence. Reconstruction sites photographed and mapped in the Earth Series Project span across Kathmandu Valley but also, crucially, across ethnic cultures, varied periods in Nepali history and vital natural systems.   


Project Background

"The last day of the Licchavi Dynasty is conventionally put at October 20, 879, when a new calendar system was established, although no one knows why it was established or by whom. The few sources of history that exist are of limited use. Brief notes at the end of some religious manuscripts, mentioning the date and the name of the king at the time it was copied, have been used to reconstruct part of the chronology."

Excerpt from Kathmandu by Thomas Bell

The Earth Series Project aligns with #OPENHERITAGE ideals and frameworks being prototyped by initiatives such as Culture Labs and PLATONIQ. PLATONIQ delineates a critical dialogue whereby "Inclusion processes through cultural heritage where actors and entities come together to create narratives that sustain heritage as well as build bridges across language, history, and tradition for more inclusive or diverse communities" are among the central rationales for this project. 

#EARTHSERIES by veneeta singha

NIKON, Google, adobe, zoho, microsoft, maPbox, esri, issuu, 500px, youpic, phmuseum, TWITTER