How do mountains move and how are mountain movements brought into social practices, knowledges, and imaginations? In this new research, I am working with communities in the Jogbuda Valley of Farwestern Nepal to understand everyday interventions and entanglements with geological processes of land formation. This project is part of research I am conducting through my postdoctoral position in Sajag-Nepal: Preparedness and Planning for the Mountain Hazard and Risk Chain in Nepal.
I am basing this research in Jogbuda, an inner Tarai valley surrounded by the Lower, Middle, and Upper Siwaliks (or Chure) and the Lesser Himalaya. The Siwaliks are dynamic mountain systems; the newest hills in the Himalayas. They are composed of mudstone, sandstone, clay, boulders, cobbles, and conglomerates. The loosely compacted stone and soil makes them very easily reworked by water. Seasonal stream channels, monsoon rainfall, and perennial rivers and streams constantly move material through the landscape. I spend time with communities living in different geographical and geologically distinct locations within the valley to learn how they conceive of the valley's formation and changes over time and how these changes play out in everyday life, social practices, and relations between communities and place.