by Yukta Bajracharya
6 pm is slideshow time at Photo Kathmandu. The evening draws its natural curtains, the blue projector light illuminates the surrounding.
Today we are at Mangahiti, the water sprouts next to the Patan Museum at the Patan Durbar Square. The Mangahiti is the source of water for many families in the community. Visiting the hiti in the mornings and the evenings to fetch water is a daily ritual for many locals here.
The water is flowing from the mouths of the Makaras, the mythical creature known to be half crocodiles, half elephants, hitting the stone paved floors below. One can hear the bhajans sung at the Krishna Mandir. There is the occasional honking of motorbike, the sound of people walking, children playing – it is any other evening at the Durbar Square. But today, we have gathered in this space to view a slideshow of photographs under the theme of ‘Moving Asia’. Curated by Robert Godden, the slideshow features works of 12 photographers from 11 countries. ‘Moving Asia’ tells us about the lives of many people around Asia who leave their home countries seeking jobs for a better standard of living for their families. From the cases of disappeared Nepali migrant workers to the stories of oil workers in Kazakhstan, the series of photographs moves us, as we look up at the projector screen, witnessing bits and pieces of the lives that many are living, right this very moment.
Tomorrow, we will be sitting in rows next to the Pim Bahal Pokhari, next to the chaityas, looking at collections of photographs from an alternative history of Nepal, one that was hidden in photo albums belonging to a few Nepali families. Titled ‘The Past is the Present’, this show is curated by Pablo Bartholomew. If you live in the neighbourhood or walk past it everyday on your way to work or wherever, you will be sitting amongst people you don’t know (but faces you find familiar).
The next day, the slideshow will take us back to Bungamati. As we visit this Newari town to revisit its past through old photographs.
There are three more slideshow sessions that will take place in the next few days as a part of Photo Kathmandu. We invite you to be a part of this collective viewing of some amazing visual stories by photographers from around the world. Come be a part of the crowd, sit next to your friends, share the space with strangers and let photographs speak to you.
Information on the upcoming slideshows
New Wave in Nepali Photography
Curated by Kishor Sharma
Date: Wednesday, 26 October
This slideshow gives a glimpse into the works of some of the contemporary photographers delving into personal stories and social justice issues that have been historically ignored or overlooked.
Women Looking at Women
Curated by Susan Meiselas
Date: Thursday, 27 October
This is a selection from Women Looking at Women, the second guest-curated edition of Raw View and features works of women photographers from around the world.
“All the World’s a Stage…”
Curated by Tanvi Mishra
Date: Friday 28 October
Venue: Swotha Square
This selection of works looks at artists exploring the realm of staged images, some recreations of events in history, some retellings of old fables, some fantasy and others performance.