This week we had the final presentation of the SGT Studio course. It was about the learnings of the adventure that the Nepali 2019 project has been. Summarising everything that has happened, has felt like a project of its own, it is hard to put to words all that the experience has given.
Coming into the project in November, I had no idea what was waiting ahead. The past half a year has been a skydive into the world of problem-based teamwork methods and international development project 101. I truly believe now that a diverse and multidisciplinary team can, at its best, work well as a tool to identify platforms of change. Three months post field trip, I am only beginning to understand how much I have learned about the value of broad-mindedness, dynamic communication skills and calm introspection to a projects success. Moreover, the process has set me on a path of re-framing my world view, I ended up meeting wonderful people whom I really love and respect, and together we had more fun than should be legal.
During the spring, I started to think more about what a disaster – be it natural or brought on by people – might mean to a community in the long run. Reading about disasters in the media, the context of an event is often given a frame through the use of sharp headings, usually angled by the chosen approach of a specific channel. The reports on a topic only circulate for a short moment, after which the stories disappear.
The two things that could be more acknowledged when documenting disasters, such as the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, are the important role community synergies play in the recovery and resilience and the fact that rebuilding takes years, especially in areas that are more secluded. A silver-lining, if one, is the coherence and caring that emerges in a community when it is hit by injury. This sense of togetherness brings forth numerous acts of kindness and selfless deeds. Perhaps the strength of a community to withstand natural disasters could be higher, the stronger these existing support frameworks are. It should be held at uttermost importance that the stories of ongoing rebuilding of these communities are not forgotten and that we who read the news about something one day, would remember that the need for support doesn’t stop when the headlines pass from sight.
The presentation today marked the end of the official tasks of Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) Studio course run by the Aalto University. But not to worry, we still have a few cool things we want to share with you coming up. To continue with the project we are working on a photobook that will be published in early autumn and a second photo exhibition in Helsinki .