Thamel Rati

Thamel Rati

Lisa Pradhan


The 2015 earthquake in Nepal had devastating effects on Nepalese lives. The most horrifying toll is the thousands killed and injured. Families still left homeless and without medical care, still awaiting the impact of humanitarian aid. The quieter changes are the toppled temples and destroyed buildings that turned Kathmandu to ruble. In the aftermath, the Nepalese economy, once heavily supported by tourism, faces the slow arduous process of rebuilding. Once bustling streets are now silent, leaving only gestures of the past behind.

Thamel Rati (2016), recreates the dissipating night in the heart of Kathmandu pre-earthquake. Known more for curios – Kukris, singing bowls, violin sellers, and thumbed through paperbacks – than kin, Thamel Rati explores the intimate shifts of urban space from within the gullies. Families fragment, seized land trusts are turned into business complexes, and transgenerational traditions are remade as the district of Thamel continues to urbanize. Iterating this nocturnal soundscape, Thamel is a decontextualized lullaby to memory.