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Ghost Villages

Mick Stetson | Nepal

Organization: American Society of Media Photographers

It's not uncommon for villagers to walk several kilometers through rugged terrain just to gather fodder for their livestock or sugar cane for their children. But it’s a dying practice that the young eschew, as they are no longer happy living traditional lifestyles.

Priya Gurung knows ten people who left her village to work overseas. Today, the young are no longer happy living traditional lifestyles, instead they dream of the success the modern world promises. In Nepal’s rural villages, very few people remain. What were once thriving, autonomous villages 30 years ago, are now filled with abandoned houses and uncultivated fields. The tragedy is that the traditions that helped these communities survive and flourish for centuries are at risk of vanishing, taking with them the vast archive of knowledge, expertise and imagination that make up the complexity and diversity of their culture.

My photographic interests are centered on the diversity of people and how they express their unique cultural identities. This project is important because it shows some of the hidden costs of modern industrialization and its accompanying lifestyle. It demonstrates the price of progress, not only of the waste it generates, but also its impact on cultural traditions and identity — in particular, the loss of diverse artistic, intellectual and spiritual expression that collectively defines the human experience as lived until now.

Mick Stetson

http://www.mickstetson.photography/

mstetson@gmail.com

(81) 080.7003.4753 (Japan)

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