After the Earth's Violent Sway: the tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster

Lead Research Organisation: School of Oriental & African Studies
Department Name: SOAS South Asia Institute

Abstract

The physical impact of a natural disaster such as a major earthquake is immediately visible: lost lives, displaced people, destroyed houses and a shattered cultural heritage. However, the longer-term impact of such an event is less apparent. This project will study the impact that the earthquakes of 2015 had on Nepali society. It will examine public discourse to understand social change; study efforts to reclaim and reinvent material culture; and study archival material to identify the permanent marks left by previous disasters.
First, the project will investigate the earthquakes' impact upon ongoing cultural and political discourse in Nepal. Nepal emerged from a ten-year civil war in 2006 and since then the country's main political players had been engaged in a seemingly interminable process of transition from a monarchical Hindu state to a democratic federal republic. Much of the debate and contention concerned the content of a new constitution for Nepal which would enshrine the new federal structure, safeguard democracy, and ensure greater inclusion of historically marginalized groups and communities. The earthquakes had a major impact upon this process: a new constitution was promulgated less than five months after the disaster, but its content proved to be highly divisive. The researchers on this project will investigate the ways in which the disaster changed the direction and content of the national debate on a number of key cultural and political issues over a three year period beginning on 25 April 2015 (the day on which the first quake occurred). Their analysis will focus on media, literary and cultural production ranging from newspaper op-ed columns to poetry, songs and urban graffiti (with a particular emphasis on material produced in Nepali), and on interviews and focus-group discussions in both provincial and metropolitan locations.
Second, the project will ask who it is that decides which elements of an aid-dependent country's destroyed physical heritage is worth restoring. Early photographs of earthquake damage showed heaps of rubble in Kathmandu's world heritage sites. This gave the impression of extensive devastation in the capital and led to an early media focus on the loss of cultural heritage in the Kathmandu Valley. It seemed to be generally assumed that the restoration of the Valley's historic built environment would take place uncontentiously, and that the international community would contribute to the cost of this restoration. However, the discussion is only just beginning of what the priorities of the restoration project will be, or how they will be set. The project will investigate the extent to which the selection and prioritisation of sites and buildings for restoration is driven by what is held locally to be most 'dear', and to what extent by the evaluations of external donors and heritage experts.
Third, the project will draw historical comparisons between the sociocultural and political impacts of the 2015 quakes and those of the major quakes that struck Nepal during earlier periods of political and cultural transition in 1833 and 1934. A handful of brief accounts of these earlier quakes and their aftermath and impact have been published in Nepali and English (eg. Joshi 2015, Rana 2013), and several Nepali journalists referred to these accounts in their reporting on the 2015 disaster. However, little of this material has been utilised by scholars writing in English, and archives in London, Delhi and Kathmandu contain contemporaneous accounts that have not been published or analysed in any detail.
This study across the three strands aims to determine what changes in Nepali society take and have taken place after a major disaster. Do the rules and conventions that governed life and political decision-making before a disaster continue to be valued in its aftermath? What kinds of change occur as a result of such a disaster? Which of these changes is temporary and which is permanent?

Planned Impact

This research will contribute substantially to understandings of the longterm sociopolitical and cultural impacts of natural disasters, especially in aid-dependent low-income countries where the state is weak. It will deliver impact in a range of contexts.

First, the project will be of considerable interest to Governmental departments and international agencies engaged in delivering relief and development aid to countries in the global South, including Nepal. Even nine months after the disaster, the country directors of many agencies are frustrated by the Nepal government's failure to realise or spend any of the $2.7bn of relief aid pledged by foreign governments and donor agencies. It came as a surprise to outsiders that the Government of Nepal gave a higher priority to the promulgation of a long-delayed constitution.

This research will encourage policy-makers to consider the local political and historical contexts of future natural disasters and their responses to them. It will take more fully into account the discourses that take place in spheres inaccessible to those not versed in local languages. Our analysis of the political impact of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, especially as articulated in the Nepali language discourse, will enable donors and policy-makers to consider alternative rationalities and take decisions that are based more firmly on political ground realities, thus increasing the effectiveness of interventions in future situations in Nepal and elsewhere.

Second, the research will critically analyse the way in which national and international actors relate to one another in decision-making processes and policy making related to the protection, documentation and reconstruction of Nepal's physical cultural heritage. It will analyse how this conversation is framed through domestic legislation and assess the extent to which laws reflect vernacular 'heritage' concepts and influence decisions about the allocation of international funds. This will be of interest to international organisations (ICOM, ICCROM, ICOMOS, UNESCO etc.) as well as local institutions and projects such as the Guthi Sansthan, the Department of Archaeology, the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust, the Patan Conservation and Development Programme, the Patan Museum and the Bhaktapur Development Project.

Third, the project will add to UK public understanding of the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. The Disaster Emergency Committee's Nepal earthquake appeal raised over £50 million in its first fortnight, exceeding even the sum raised during the first three months of its Ebola appeal (£34 million). This demonstrates considerable sympathy for Nepal on the part of the British public, and continued interest in the aftermath of the disaster. While a great deal of information (much of it disheartening) can be found online in respect of the ongoing humanitarian relief effort, much of this is presented apolitically, devoid of any contextual framing. The project will therefore fill a significant gap in the public understanding of the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, to the alleviation of whose effects the British public contributed with such generosity.

Finally, the project will aim to contribute to Nepali public understandings of the tumultuous series of political events that followed in the wake of the disaster. It will do this by subjecting Nepali public and media discourse to non-partisan and critical analysis, and by placing these events in a deeper historical context through a comparison of the events of 2015 with disasters that struck Nepal during the 19th and 20th centuries. As such, the project, with its focus on processes and negotiations, will contribute to the understanding of the making of the collective memories that remain as the tangible and intangible legacies of a disaster: these are, after all, the sociopolitical contexts within which international interventions take place.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Sway project researchers have documented and analysed the history of earthquakes in Nepal and similarities and divergences between the Nepal government's responses to them over time; the complex relationship between the 2015 earthquakes and Nepal's divisive 2015 constitution; shortcomings in the design and construction of integrated model settlements for the rehousing of earthquake-impacted communities; the memorialisation of Nepal's 2015 earthquakes in monuments, poetry, song, and body art; controversies over materials and questions of authenticity in heritage reconstruction; struggles between community organisations and statutory bodies and agencies over the ownership of heritage reconstruction sites; and anthropologists' constructions of the earthquakes and their aftermath.

Our key published finding to date has been that endogenous evaluations of "heritage" are inflected by questions of politics, social class, and power among a disaster-affected national public. In the Nepal case, the World Heritage authorities' understanding of this public has been shown to be limited.
Exploitation Route Too early to say.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other

URL https://sway.soscbaha.org/
 
Description The declared aim of this project from the outset has been to 'help to build resilience in the face of future disasters by analysing the ways in which pre-existing historical, cultural and political understandings serve as normative frameworks through which the disaster and its aftermath are interpreted'. Its work has particularly addressed two aspects of the SDGs, namely: 'to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage' (11.4); and 'to strengthen resilience to adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disaster in all countries' (13.1) In Nepal, and among Nepal-focused researchers and development practitioners worldwide, it has aimed to raise levels of public understanding of the social, political and cultural impacts of Nepal's 2015 earthquakes by disseminating its research questions and preliminary findings via a website, a research blog, and several researcher interviews, mostly with the Nepali-language media. Using Nepal as a case study, it has also alerted disaster management professionals and policymakers to the impacts of natural disasters beyond the purely physical and humanitarian, through interactions with key agencies in Kathmandu and presentations at international Disaster Studies conferences. Given the lengthy timeframes involved in getting research into print, most of the formal research outputs of this project are as yet unpublished: three articles are at the review stage with peer-reviewed journals, one article is forthcoming in Disasters, one paper is under consideration for inclusion in an edited volume on Rana history; and a proposed 15-chapter edited volume containing work by all of the project's researchers is under review at Cambridge University Press. While it waits for these publications to appear, however, the project has made the interests, activities and findings of its researchers available by other more immediately accessible means. These include a research blog which has recorded nearly 12,000 views to date; the sharing of research-based insights in interviews with the Nepali news media; the compilation and online publication of bibliographies; and the creation and publicization of an open-access Digital Library (see below). Presentations of the SWAY project were made to the staff of DFID and the Nepal office of UNESCO in Nepal in early 2018, and to the Nepal government's National Reconstruction Authority [NRA] in August 2019. As a result of the interaction with DFID, a DFID staff member presented a paper at the 'Epicentre to Aftermath' conference convened by the SWAY project in collaboration with the SOAS South Asia Institute in January 2019, and PI Hutt was drawn into a wider discussion about DFID's research strategy in Nepal. It is hoped that, as a result of the presentation to the NRA, the SWAY project will contribute to the major conference that is being planned by the NRA to mark the end of the reconstruction phase in November 2020, and that the NRA's archive of reports and documentation will be included in the SWAY Digital Library. SWAY project researchers have also made critical research-based contributions to the ongoing domestic (Nepali) debate on the nature and content of Nepal's post-earthquake reconstruction process, for example with regard to the role of community-based organisations in the reconstruction of heritage sites, and to flaws in the conception and design of integrated model settlements for relocated communities. The prominent involvement of UNESCO and donor organisations in heritage reconstruction came to be perceived by heritage activists as reducing authenticity and local ownership, and as increasingly counterproductive to the identity formation that the reconstruction of living heritage can offer. The project has helped these activists' voices to be heard, for instance by incorporating their perspectives and concerns in forthcoming research publications, and Skyping them in to a recent conference in London [https://www.soas.ac.uk/south-asia-institute/events/01feb2020-a-european-conference-on-newah-culture--heritage-of-nepal.html] The project has enhanced research capacity in Nepal, not only by providing the Nepali project team members with opportunities to present their work and interact with international researchers on a number of occasions, but also by providing them and other researchers interested in the legacy of the 2015 disaster with an extensive digital database of universally accessible research materials, the SWAY digital library. Disaster response and recovery literature often tends to rest in the 'grey-market' of official and semi-official publications produced to mark a specific target -a monthly or annual report, for example-which last only slightly longer than newspaper reports. The Internet has changed the nature of information preservation. NGOs tend to preserve their own product, at least for relative terms of common memory before the economics of storage force them into the way-back machines of off-line storage. Newspapers also tend to preserve their reports, editorials and letters as well as photographic and increasingly audio and visual content; but, they too face storage issues which eventually force content into off-line datastores, effectively hiding it from future use. Several of the newspapers that carried substantive discussions of the Nepal earthquake aftermath store data in the public Internet for relatively short periods of time. Indeed, many of the newspaper articles collected by this project had to be collected from print repositories because online originals were no longer accessible. Further, NGOs, newspapers and even government agencies, faced with earthquake damage, response and recovery tasks, find little time for information storage. This project's digital library (https://digital.soas.ac.uk/sway), built and preserved in the context of a research institution with a more immediate appreciation of information, and distant from the scene of disaster and recovery, allows Nepal earthquake documentation to proceed. Unlike the distributed digital datastores of NGOs, newspapers and governments, the digital library is able to bring content together and make it cross-searchable. This project is also allying itself, through technology sharing, with a similar Canadian-funded data collection project to found a bigger, perhaps broader, digital library than was originally funded by AHRC. To aid discovery, the digital library utilises internationally standardised data-elements (MARC, METS, and MODS) as well as internationally standardised name and geographic data authority (VIAF, LC NAF, GeoNames, US BGN) and both internationally established (LCSH) and project based key-words and genre terms (https://digital.soas.ac.uk/sway/about/) in both English and Nepali. Where possible, text in page images is converted into searchable text and other materials are transcribed or indexed. Searchable text production lags somewhat behind in conversion of Nepali sources, but new vendor contacts are being forged to find a solution. The project further aids access by clearing copyrights with publishers, so data can be found and re-used. The SWAY digital library is still a work in progress, and may well be long after the project has been completed, as new content continues to be added. It currently lists 2070 digital objects, including books, journal articles, newspaper articles, reports, photographs, audio, and video. To date, 1234 of these objects have cleared copyright and are available to the general public. An additional 194 items from the Himalayan Times will soon be opened to public access, and we anticipate that nearly all of the works collected will ultimately be cleared for public access. Until then, the project's academics have curatorial access that allows them to analyse content. Use of the digital library has been measured since it began as a proto-type through active use collection, from 384 uses in November 2015 to 6477 uses in January 2020, with monthly use over the past year roughly averaging 5000 uses per month. A six-month no-cost extension of the SWAY project to 30 September 2020 has recently been agreed, which will provide an opportunity for further work on dissemination and impact generation.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Title Sway Digital Library 
Description Disaster response and recovery literature often tends to rest in the 'grey-market' of official and semi-official publications produced to mark a specific target -a monthly or annual report, for example-which last only slightly longer than newspaper reports. The Internet has changed the nature of information preservation. NGOs tend to preserve their own product, at least for relative terms of common memory before the economics of storage force them into the way-back machines of off-line storage. Newspapers also tend to preserve their reports, editorials and letters as well as photographic and increasingly audio and visual content; but, they too face storage issues which eventually force content into off-line datastores, effectively hiding it from future use. Several of the newspapers that carried substantive discussions of the Nepal earthquake aftermath store data in the public Internet for relatively short periods of time. Indeed, many of the newspaper articles collected by this project had to be collected from print repositories because online originals were no longer accessible. Further, NGOs, newspapers and even government agencies, faced with earthquake damage, response and recovery tasks, find little time for information storage. This project's digital library (https://digital.soas.ac.uk/sway), built and preserved in the context of a research institution with a more immediate appreciation of information, and distant from the scene of disaster and recovery, allows Nepal earthquake documentation to proceed. Unlike the distributed digital datastores of NGOs, newspapers and governments, the digital library is able to bring content together and make it cross-searchable. This project is also allying itself, through technology sharing, with a similar Canadian-funded data collection project to found a bigger, perhaps broader, digital library than was originally funded by AHRC. To aid discovery, the digital library utilises internationally standardised data-elements (MARC, METS, and MODS) as well as internationally standardised name and geographic data authority (VIAF, LC NAF, GeoNames, US BGN) and both internationally established (LCSH) and project based key-words and genre terms (https://digital.soas.ac.uk/sway/about/) in both English and Nepali. Where possible, text in page images is converted into searchable text and other materials are transcribed or indexed. Searchable text production lags somewhat behind in conversion of Nepali sources, but new vendor contacts are being forged to find a solution. The project further aids access by clearing copyrights with publishers, so data can be found and re-used. The SWAY digital library is still a work in progress, and may well be long after the project has been completed, as new content continues to be added. It currently lists 2070 digital objects, including books, journal articles, newspaper articles, reports, photographs, audio, and video. To date, 1234 of these objects have cleared copyright and are available to the general public. An additional 194 items from the Himalayan Times will soon be opened to public access, and we anticipate that nearly all of the works collected will ultimately be cleared for public access. Until then, the project's academics have curatorial access that allows them to analyse content. Use of the digital library has been measured since it began as a proto-type through active use collection, from 384 uses in November 2015 to 6477 uses in January 2020, with monthly use over the past year roughly averaging 5000 uses per month. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The SWAY Digital Library provides interested in the legacy of the 2015 disaster with an extensive digital database of universally accessible research materials, and therefore enhances the scope for research in and on Nepal. 
URL https://digital.soas.ac.uk/SWAY
 
Description Collaboration with project at University of British Columbia 
Organisation University of British Columbia
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The UBC-based project 'Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal's Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Construction, Law and Finance as Sites of Social Transformation' is funded by a three-year Social Science and Humanities Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant. This project is also contributing the research materials it collects to the SWAY Digital Library. We have provided guidance on keywording and cataloguing processes.
Collaborator Contribution The UBC-based project 'Expertise, Labour and Mobility in Nepal's Post-Conflict, Post-Disaster Reconstruction: Construction, Law and Finance as Sites of Social Transformation' is funded by a three-year Social Science and Humanities Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant. This project is also contributing the research materials it collects to the SWAY Digital Library.
Impact An expansion of the SWAY Digital Library content.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Epicentre to Aftermath conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A two-day conference entitled 'Epicentre to Aftermath: Earthquakes in South Asia' was convened in collaboration with the SOAS South Asia Institute at SOAS University of London on 11-12 January 2019. 25 papers were presented by researchers from Nepal, Pakistan, India, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA in panels on 'citizens, loss and reconstruction', 'recovery and development', 'governance, bureaucracy and politics', 'producing heritage', 'reading sources' and 'interventions'. Seventeen of the papers drew on research conducted in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. The conference included a presentation by the Senior Engineering Adviser from DFID Nepal. On the Friday evening Dr Sara Shneiderman of the University of British Columbia delivered a public keynote lecture entitled 'Restructuring Life: political, social, and material transformation in post -conflict, post-disaster Nepal' to an audience of over 100 in SOAS's Scholars and Alumni Lecture Theatre. A transcript of the very rich plenary debate has been produced and is being uploaded onto the project website, along with abstracts of all papers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://sway.soscbaha.org/newss/epicentre-to-aftermath-political-social-and-cultural-impacts-of-eart...
 
Description Interviews with the Nepali news media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact An interview with the PI (in Nepali) was published in the Saturday 'Koseli' supplement of Kantipur, Nepal's leading daily newspaper, on 2 December 2017: https://www.kantipurdaily.com/koseli/2017/12/02/20171202084131.html

A 46-minute interview with the PI (in Nepali) was broadcast on Kantipur TV broadcast on 14 February 2018.

Both of the above interviews ranged quite widely, covering literary and political topics in addition to an explanation of the Sway project.

The PI also gave an interview to Radio Sailung in Charikot (in the severely-affected Dolakha district) on 4 February 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKXV-aLvZuY
 
Description John Whelpton (SWAY project researcher) interview with Kantipur newspaper (Nepal) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact John Whelpton gave a detailed interview to Nepal's leading Nepali-language daily, Kantipur, about the place of earthquakes in Nepal's history. This was published in print and online on 22 September 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://ekantipur.com/koseli/2019/09/21/156903910125744909.html
 
Description NEEDS conference panels in 2018 and 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Members of the SWAY project team presented papers to the third and fourth Northern European Conferences on Emergency and Disaster Studies, in Amsterdam in March 2018 and Uppsala in June 2019. At the latter conference they convened a panel entitled 'Blown out of proportion: When media, literature and popular culture scale events' which consisted of four papers, as follows:

Mark Liechty, 'Disasters and conditions of possibility: Rethinking causation through analysis of Nepal earthquakes'
Stefanie Lotter, 'Creating authority via social media: How heritage activists gained leverage in post- earthquake Nepal'
Seira Tamang, 'The culture of anthropological activism in the immediate aftermath of the Nepali earthquakes'
Michael Hutt, 'Songs from a Nepali aftermath'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://needs2019.com/
 
Description Presentation to the CEO and Executive Committee of the Nepal Government's National Reconstruction Authority 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact PI Hutt and Deepak Thapa, the Director of Social Science Baha, the SWAY project's research partner in Nepal, made a presentation of the project to the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Committee of the Nepal Government's National Reconstruction Authority on 2 August 2019, in Kathmandu. The purpose of the exercise was to acquaint the NRA with the overall project, to introduce them to and explain the functionalities of the SWAY Digital Library, and to secure their permission to include the NRA's own publications as a part of this collection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project pesentation to DFID (Kathmandu) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The PI, CoI and database editor presented the project to Nepal-based DFID staff at the DFID headquarters in Kathmandu on 9 February 2018 and answered their questions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Publication of Nepali translation of research blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact In March 2019, PI Hutt and Khem Shreesh of Social Science Baha made a research visit to the villages of Barpak and Laprak, which were at the epicentre of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. They published an account of their visit in the SWAY research blog under the title 'A visit to the epicentre' [https://sway.soscbaha.org/blogs/a-visit-to-the-epicentre/]. The article contained criticisms of the relocation of Laprak village.

This blog article was subsequently translated into Nepali and published on the website of the BBC Nepali Service [https://www.bbc.com/nepali/news-48049766] on 25 April 2019.

The publication and dissemination of this story led to heightened media interest and a flurry of further critical stories: see for instance https://www.recordnepal.com/wire/features/a-ghost-settlement-in-gorkha/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.com/nepali/news-48049766
 
Description Sway project featured as AHRC Heritage case study 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Sway project featured as a case study in the website created by the AHRC Heritage Priority Area initiative.

The AHRC Heritage Priority Area team 'works with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the heritage research community, and heritage partner organisations, to draw together and stimulate the development of a wide range of research across the arts and humanities that makes an important contribution to understanding heritage'. It also aims to 'support the interconnections between research, policy and practice, both in the UK and internationally'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://heritage-research.org/case-studies/earths-violent-sway-tangible-intangible-legacies-natural-...
 
Description Website dissemination 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The project website, launched in October 2017, contains a research blog and links to publications. The website URL and an outline of the Sway project was disseminated to the mailing lists maintained by the office of the UN resident coordinator and the Association of International NGOs in Kathmandu, Nepal in December 2017. A follow up to this was sent to these contacts and to the SWAY project's own mailing list of 520 contacts in April 2019, drawing recipients' attention to the Digital Library and research blog.

The text of this email was as follows:

Dear colleagues and friends

In April 2017 we began work on a project entitled 'After the Earth's Violent Sway: the tangible and intangible legacies of a natural disaster', funded by the UK government's Global Challenges Research Fund through the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Two years on, we have two outcomes that we would like to share with you.

The first is our project website at https://sway.soscbaha.org. This contains a growing number of research blogs [https://sway.soscbaha.org/blog/], some written by members of the SWAY team and others by contributors to the January 2019 'Epicentre to Aftermath' conference; abstracts of all papers presented at the latter conference, plus the paper presented by Leonard Tedd of DFID Nepal and a transcript of the plenary discussion; an extensive bibliography, to which we will soon add a second bibliography focusing on media coverage; and links to other research projects on the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

The second is the SWAY Digital Library. This may be accessed either via the project website or directly at https://digital.soas.ac.uk/SWAY. It currently contains nearly 900 pdf documents in both English and Nepali, many of them from the Nepali media, and a number of videos. All of this material is being made available with the formal permission of copyright holders. Items are still being added on a regular basis, and the cataloguing and digitisation work will continue for one more year.

The 'tiles' on the SWAY Digital Library home page are sample documents from the collection. The metadata for each of these appear as you pass your mouse over it, and a different selection appears each time you refresh the page.

To access the whole collection, please click on 'All Items'. Items will then appear in alphabetical order by title, with English language items coming first, followed by items in Nepali. It is currently possible only to conduct searches based on the collection's metadata; the text content of all items will be made fully searchable at a later stage. To view or download an item, simply double click on it, then click 'pdf'.

We hope you will find all of this both interesting and useful and that you will share this email with members of your own networks. We would be glad to receive feedback (please send this to sway@soas.ac.uk) and offers of material for the Digital Library. If you are engaged in research relating to the Nepal earthquake aftermath, please also consider writing a short summary of your research questions or findings for our blog, so that others may know more about it.

We thank you for your kind attention.

Best wishes, The SWAY team


As of 2 March 2020, the research blog extends to fifteen postings, which have recorded a total of 11,889 views.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019,2020
URL https://sway.soscbaha.org