The Newest International Photography Festival: Photo Kathmandu 2015

Photo Kathmandu will be running concurrently and in collaboration with Jazzmandu

Site of Photo Kathmandu 2015

The inaugural edition of Photo Kathmandu, the newest addition to the international photography festival circuit, will take place from 3-9 November 2015 and will be anchored in the historic city of Patan in Lalitpur, Nepal. The festival is organized by, a Nepali platform for photography. It aims to facilitate interaction between photography, history, anthropology and a wide array of the arts, providing a much-needed injection of cultural vibrancy in Nepal’s post earthquake recovery period this year.

Photo Kathmandu will be running concurrently 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 feature a wide range of programming- including 18 print exhibitions, 20 artist talks, 6 slideshow nights, and 6 workshops. With TIME as its central theme this year, the festival will chronicle Nepal’s past, and discuss its future, all through the visual medium. “Despite and because we have had an extremely challenging year in Nepal this year, we are pushing forward with this festival because we truly believe that rebuilding a sense of identity can only be done through dialogue and the arts and culture is a powerful medium to facilitate these conversations”, says Nayan Tara Gurung Kakshapati, festival co-director. Earlier this year in April, Nepal was hit by an 7.8 richter scale earthquake that caused over 8000 deaths and has left millions displaced. Most recently, political instability owing to the promulgation of a new constitution has caused much political and economic strife.

The festival will also feature six workshops that will benefit Nepali and visiting photographers. It offers various opportunities for professional development. Workshops include‘Photographing the Everyday’ by French-Belgian photographer Frédéric Lecloux, which is designed for young storytellers; ‘Translating the Voice: Explorations in listening and writing’ by Bangalore based oral historian, Indira Chowdhary; and ‘Visual Thinking in the Editorial Process’ by Thomas Borberg, a photo editor at award-winning Danish newspaper Politiken among others.

For five days during the festival, Photo Kathmandu will feature a series of artist talks and discussions with photographers, curators, anthropologists, historians and others from around the world on issues surrounding contemporary photography, the image and the word, photo book making, the history of South Asian photography and other topics. These events will take place between 4-8 Nov from 3-6pm at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka.

By occupying local hotels, guest houses, cafes and restaurants, the festival hopes to bring direct income to the Patan local economy. It will engage with Patan youth clubs and other community groups to manage all exhibitions and events. Since its announcement in June, the festival has raised funds to rebuild at least one heritage site in Patan as a concrete way to give back to its host city. Funds will be handed over to a local committee on the opening night on November 3rd.

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