MPTV student Jonathen E. Davis reflects on the Nepal earthquake
Photo by Jonathen E. Davis.
Under the Nepali sun, the earth quaked and trembled with the ferocity of a 7.8 earthquake. Buildings shuddered, then collapsed, and frightened people ran to the safety of open fields. When the earth stopped shaking, more than 8,000 were dead and piles of rubble were all that remained of some villages. The next day, more than half a world away, my phone rang while I was running errands with my wife and less than 12 hours later, I was boarding a flight to Kathmandu, my carry-on bag full of camera gear.
An image, as the cliché goes, is worth a thousand words. But in a catastrophic event, an image can inspire action. As a veteran combat photographer and now a visual journalist, I’ve seen the power an image can have on the public. Photos of an oil slick on the beach led to outrage and a demand for corporate responsibility. Images of Haitian children living among the destroyed remnants of their homes led to the outpouring of financial support after the earthquake. After leaving the military, I joined the veteran-driven disaster relief organization Team Rubicon and deployed to tornado stricken Moore, Okla., to document and volunteer in the cleanup effort.