PHOTO EXHIBITION Emerging Narratives

As the memory of devastation is slowly vanishing from the minds of Nepalese people, photographers have put on a show what changes have occurred in the society

Oct. 27, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 10, No.6, October 28( Kartik 12,2073)

Human memories are short and they often fade away as time passes. However, photographs capture different social, political and other events to refresh the people's memories about their past and their relations.

A 35-day photo exhibit, organized by German Embassy Kathmandu, in collaboration with Goethe Institute in New Delhi and Pix India and inaugurated by Ambassador of Germany to Nepal Matthias Meyer, includes the photographs representing various moods, events and incidents and transformations that have occurred in Nepal.

One can see Nepal’s change and transformation over three decades in this exhibition titled Emerging Photo Narratives of Nepal.

“Photographs represent the history of the past and they capture the mood of nature and society. They help to understand the identity of the country,” said ambassador Meyer addressing the opening program. “The photographs displayed in the wall narrate what has been going on in Nepal.”

The exhibition in Taragaon Museum Kathmandu, inside the premises of Hotel Hyatt Regency, Bouddha, is dedicated to creating an archive of contemporary Nepalese photo-practices. It will continue until 7th November. The exhibition brings together the creations of 14 photographers from Nepal, India and Europe.

“Nepal today contributes to the global visual culture while examining its own unique contemporary social issues amid the debates on constitution and rebuilding the country from the devastation of earthquake in 2015. Little known studios, family photographs and images of state culture seem to merge in Nepal, creating a new visual genealogy in the region. This exhibition is a foray into the emerging photo narratives in Nepal, historical and contemporary, and the ways in which they mobilize viewership,” said German Embassy.

“Co-hosting this exhibition through the Embassy in Kathmandu underlines German government’s longstanding commitment to support in preserving and promoting Nepal’s distinctive culture and art,” said ambassador Meyer.

Founded by Rahaab Allana and Nandita Jaishankar in 2011, PIX is a South Asia oriented contemporary photography platform and display practice based in India. PIX is about investigating and engaging with broad and expansive fields of contemporary photographic practice in South Asia, ranging from the application, conceptual standing and adaptability of photography to its subjects: its movement, transmission, appropriation and distinct relation to the allied arts. By often seeking non-professional, amateur but legible photographers PIX questions the mainstream, and also the role of photography today: art-media, documentary, digital, virtual, etc.

The Nepal issue is Pix’ 13th volume dedicated to creating an archive of contemporary practices in Nepal.

In the last few years, Nepal has been passing through a major social and political transformation. From a big earthquake to political upheavel, Nepal has seen all kinds of transformation.

“Mature and immature photographs of Nepal catch the most important and lively movement from the lenses of the camera,” said organizer.

The idea of a network and its scope – the evolving role of the practitioner and his/her field of reference – stands at the shifting horizon of viewer engagement, where Nepal today contributes to a global visual culture while examining its own, unique history with a more speculative approach: minority issues, constitutional amendments and restitution efforts following the devastating earthquake in 2015.

The issue is a foray into emerging photo narratives in Nepal, historical and contemporary, and the ways in which they mobilize viewership. This ‘scope’ is about how lines of sight are being established by practitioners within the country, as well the larger South Asian region to surmount visual hierarchies and redraft the vernacular – one that is not only regional in its aesthetics, but challenges the notion of world photography and its definition in the present. Contributing substantially to the flow of images, Nepal is poised to engage on the medium’s future. The issue seeks to look at significant social-political, personal and artistic strands developing in photography from the region.

The work is a collective effort of Allana, Nandita Jaishankar. Featured photographers include Frédéric Lecloux, Karan Shrestham, Karma Tshering Gurung,  Narayan Tushar Kaudinya, Nirman Shrestha, Philip Blenkisop, Rajan Shrestha, Sagar Chhetri , Sharbendu De, Shikhar Bhattarai, Surendra Lawoti, TuomoManninen and Zishaan Akbar Latif

Featured writers include NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, Tara Bedi, Nepal Photo Project Philippe Calia and AsmitaParelkar, BIND Collective, Kanak Mani Dixit, Muna Gurung,  Nischal Oli, Pranab Man Singh, Pranaya SJB Rana, Prawin Adhikari and Yukta Bajracharya.

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