Features Issue 114 Apr, 2011

An Exhibition by contemporary Nepali photographers

Kathmandu, oh Kathmandu! How does one tell your story without stereotyping and producing one cliché after another?

“That is how it is with certain places and subjects, which have been photographed so much and are so cluttered with clichés, that they vanish behind a wall of imagery so hopelessly stereotyped that it is impenetrable.” Christian Caujolle (Agence VU) said this about Benares before seeing American photographer Michael Ackerman’s work on the much-photographed city. Caujolle was however, struck by how unique and powerful Ackerman’s representation of Benares was. Ackerman’s work is now a haunting yet beautiful book titled ‘End Time City’, in which he presents what he calls his “raw, heart-felt, visceral engagement” with Benares.

Twenty emerging Nepali photographers recently participated in a four-week photography program during which they attempted to document people and places familiar to them with a similar raw, heart-felt approach. They endeavored to look beyond what they saw; to show beyond the obvious.

The course was organized by photo.circle and aimed to introduce participating photographers to a wide range of visual styles and aesthetics in photography, with special


emphasis on building visual narratives. The work that was produced - intimate and insightful

stories of everyday life in Kathmandu - was exhibited from 7-13 April at Nepal Art Council. The images you view in the pages that follow, are a selection of the works that were exhibited.