Ratna Park Kathmandu Nepal One Report

Ratna Park remains one of the few public places left in the heart of Kathmandu. For many it is the only centrally located space where people do not need to consume. As the city grows exponentially, less priority is given to public places. In the course of visiting Ratna Park its importance to the people became obvious. They go there to seek the shade, escape the bustling city and socialize.

The stories shared with us are as varied as the people themselves. We met people from all over Nepal, from different walks of life, occupations and social classes.he influx of people into the city since the Maoist conflict, has led to the scarcity of space. In contemporary Kathmandu new meeting places are made for consumption, such as the malls. As one man clearly put it “here I do not have to consume, to stay in the park”. Those who do not use it often overlook the park; it is many times seen as a degrading place for the lower class, a place for crime and prostitution. What we found through our experience was something, which contradicted the popular belief. We found the park fascinating. The individual stories shared to us, made it clear that the park is not just a resting place, but a place where many make their livelihood.

By making portraits of the people we met, we wanted to individualize some of the people who make up the park. They are the ones who create its atmosphere, its chaotic nature and its charm. It is through their stories that we understood the importance of the park. By overlooking the importance that the park holds for its users, its future is in question by those who seek to clean Kathmandu of its “unwanted” elements. We see it differently. We are fascinated by a place that holds so much of Kathmandu’s contemporary history. It is a place where we have made friends, listened to their stories and marveled at its chaotic nature.
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