Photo Kathmandu will be the newest addition to the international photography festival circuit and will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal from 3-9 November, 2015.

The first edition of the festival aims to serve as a platform for interaction between photography, history, anthropology and a wide array of the arts. Photo Kathmandu will be running concurrently to, and in collaboration with, Jazzmandu — a unique jazz festival that has been a pillar in contemporary Nepali cultural celebrations for the past decade. This collaboration is but a small aspect of the multidisciplinary spirit of the festival.

The festival will host exhibitions, slide shows, artist talks, workshops and other events, working primarily in public spaces in and around the old city of Patan. By working on Patan’s streets and alley-ways, its courtyards and squares, the festival will interact with diverse spaces, of whose stories it will attempt to tell. It will actively seek out its audience, instead of waiting passively for its audience to come to it.

During Photo Kathmandu, photography will meet the city and engage in conversation, using the visual medium as its primary language.

The theme for this inaugural year of the festival will be TIME. A photograph, created in a fraction of a second, can embrace years and decades, and sometimes, even immeasurable expanses of time. Time that is gained or lost; time that records and repeats, challenges and celebrates. Time that is sometimes still and sometimes racing.

The first edition of Photo Kathmandu will work closely with a range of family, community and institutional archives that present the Nepali past through images, memories and stories, juxtaposing the past, the present and the future.


Photography and Jazz, though very varied mediums, both work with the primary element of improvisation, which is governed by the element of time. The residency will bring together photography and jazz artists to explore the festival’s theme of ‘Time’ through a collaboration that will be based on improvisations of situations, spaces and relations. Over a period of eight days, the artists will work in collaboration with residency curator Philippe Van Cauteren to extend a dialogue, which will be facilitated upon the final selection of artists. The artists will work together in a private space and also in pockets of the city of Kathmandu, through which they will react to each others’ mediums and improvise with other encountered elements.

The outcome and interactions of this collaboration will be discussed and presented as developing dialogues at a collaborative evening between Photo Kathmandu and Jazzmandu.


Philippe Van Cauteren is artistic director of the S.M.A.K. Museum for Contemporary Art in Ghent, Belgium. He co-curated the Belgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and is curator of the National Pavilion of Iraq for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Previously, Van Cauteren has worked as a freelance curator in Germany, Mexico, Chile and Brazil. In 2002, he was curator of the first Biennal Ceara America in Fortaleza, Brazil. He regularly writes and lectures on contemporary art.


Brianna Bartelt (United States of America)
Ralph Smit (South Africa)
Tushikur Rahman (Bangladesh)
Indu Antony (India)
Sanjeev Maharjan (Nepal)
Ankit Suwal (Nepal)