Mourning and melancholia in a nomadic camp

PhotographerDidier Mayhew
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Mourning and melancholia. In the Kathmandu valley of Nepal, a group of landless families, coming from the Tarai plains, lives in tents on waste ground. They lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of income. While the men are away working as labourers, the mothers and children live in the tents. Their life is marked by a deep sense of solitude, especially when they face dramatic events, such as the illness or death of their loved ones. For three years, I have accompanied them and tried to depict the silence and fragility of their existence.

About Photographer

Before getting into photography, Didier worked for many years with refugees, homeless and victims of trauma. His professional path, as an anthropologist and a psychologist, led him to conduct researches in the Himalayan regions where he decided to remain. Since 2009, he lives in Nepal and acts as volunteer within a local group to bring support to landless families living on the margins of Nepalese society. His immersion in the slums, the dumps and the nomadic camps made him choose to dedicate himself to photography and in particular to long-term documentaries, with a focus on social issues that remain little-known. After having documented the daily life of an itinerant group, he spent most of the year 2015 among remote families affected by the Nepal earthquake. Website: