Project Description




This unique work offers the reader a poetic depiction of the abyssal Himalayan city of Kathmandu: the mythical sword-shaped sacred city of divine origin set among the shining mountains of the Himalayas; the open-air mandala studded by golden-roofed temples; the cradle and melting pot of millenary civilisation and spiritual tradition; the mesmerising destination for generations of flower children and “dharma bums”; Asia’s present-day dirty, derelict and broken mirror…Kathmandu.

A visionary katabasis, this book, enriched by a wide selection of artistic B&W photos, leads the reader through the mazes of this remote location, simultaneously a real venue, a sacred land and an inviolate recess of the soul: sharp shadows and piercing shouts mingle with bursts of overwhelming light and tremendous beauty. 

Kathmandu, Lessons of Darkness: the ultimate, vivid portrait of the world that existed prior to the terrible earthquake on April 2015, which turned it into debris and dust…


Things that were there and others that should have been.
This city, the Kathmandu of dust, mud and wood, hoisted and then taken away, ripens at sunset.
People evaporate again in breath and the whole flat valley once more lies down on its column of vertebrae.


Martino Nicoletti, Kathmandu: Lessons of Darkness, Milan, Mimesis International, 2015

This volume is a revised and augmented version of the artist’s book by Martino Nicoletti, Kathmandu: Leçons de ténèbres, printed in Italian in a limited edition of 108 copies by Parbpim Ltd., Part., Bangkok, 2009. The same work was subsequently published as a commercial edition with the title of Kathmandu. Lezioni di tenebre by Casadei Libri Editore, Rome, 2012.