Kathmandu, Nepal's Himalayan capital, has undergone sweeping changes brought on by breakneck development, a flourishing tourist industry and large-scale investment. Yet on 25 April 2015, a massive earthquake brought death and destruction.
Brian Sokol photographed Kathmandu mere days before the devastating earthquake which struck on 25 April 2015. He was exploring the ways in which ancient rituals and traditions are shaping the Nepalese capital’s sprawling urban developments. Swathes of the city centre and other districts now lie in ruins. Undoubtedly, some of the recently constructed buildings were built quickly and cheaply, contributing to the deadly effect of the tremor.
Over the past few years, Kathmandu has undergone a period of rapid urbanisation yet it has also remained curiously unique in its loyalty to its cultural heritage. Tragically, some of the city’s most revered temples and most visited sites were badly damaged, sometimes beyond repair. The city as Brian photographed it in early April 2015 has been largely rebuilt, finding a new drive after the worst earthquake in 80 years that is killed over 8,000 people.