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Hutt, Michael (2019) 'Revealing What is Dear: the post-earthquake iconisation of the Dharahara, Kathmandu.' Journal of Asian Studies, 78 (3). pp. 549-576.

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On 25 April 2015 central Nepal was struck by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake which killed over 9000 people and displaced 2.8 million. The image of the Dharahara, a nineteenth century minaret which collapsed during the quake, quickly became for many Nepalis an iconic representation not only of the disaster but also of a national determination to recover and rebuild. Edward Simpson has argued that the aftermath of a disaster is ‘a product of the longer history of a locality’ and it is the aftermath ‘that may reveal what is dear’ (Simpson 2013: 53, 50). Drawing upon media and literary discourse in the Nepali language, this article asks why the Dharahara tower loomed so large in the Nepali imagination in the immediate aftermath of the April 2015 earthquake, rather than the country’s severely damaged World Heritage sites, and why it became a rallying point for a resurgence of Nepali hill nationalism.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Disasters, nationalism, heritage, Nepal, public memory, politics
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions (Asia, Africa, Australia)
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
D History General and Old World
J Political Science
ISSN: 00219118
Copyright Statement: © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2019. This is the version of the article accepted for publication in Journal of Asian Studies published by Cambridge University Press:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 11:23
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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