Nepal has gone through some dramatic transformation in recent history. After 239 years, monarchical rule has come to an end. The country witnessed a decade-long Maoist rebellion that resulted in over 13,000 deaths and displacement of over 100,000. Various political movements and discourses of rights, justice and equality have heightened. The governance of the country during the transitional phase is unstable, chaotic and often frustrating. And there is the impact of globalization via media, technology, commerce and culture. Signs of capitalist aspirations are abound. Amidst the desire for modernity, there are aged old customs and traditions that strongly persist. The confluence of these factors has created an air of anxiety. The present, at times feels bleak. There is hope in the distant future, but things could go horribly wrong any time. You can viscerally experience the synergy of chaos, hope and uncertainty if you stand on a sidewalk in Kathmandu for five minutes.
According to a recent census, Kathmandu Valley’s population has almost doubled in the last ten years. Kathmandu does not have the supporting infrastructures to support this influx. What once used to be fertile agricultural land is now covered with boxed houses. Gated housing developments like in American suburbs are being built. In fact Kathmandu saw its own housing bubble. Banks heavily invested in real estate lending easily available loans. On the other hand, the poor and the landless live in one of many squatter settlements in the city. On the streets, there are traffic jams. There is pollution. And there are severe environmental concerns. What once used to be beautiful Baghmati River now is stagnant with stink, plastic bottles and garbage.
Kathmandu is an orgy of visual chaos. I want to spend five weeks in July and August of 2012 photographing Kathmandu. I plan to be on top of people’s houses, on office buildings, on the streets and in the squatter settlements photographing the urban landscape. For a photographer like me, who revels in visual pandemonium, Kathmandu is heavenly. I want to make striking and formally intricate images that distil the truth of modern Kathmandu.
How Can You Help?
You can help by a donation or you can spread the word via email, list serves, newsletters, social media or word of mouth.
Total Project Budget: $4,500
Commitment from my own personal savings: $1,500
Funds required: $3,000
Research Photos (Hiring of a Photographer in Kathmandu): $400
Audio/Video Equipment (for promotional video): $100
Air fare between Toronto and Kathmandu: $1,700
Film and process: $1,800
Indiegogo Fee (4% of Raised $$): $140
Credit Card Transaction Fee (3% per transaction): $50
Wire Transfer Fee (Indiegogo to my account): $25
Gallery 44 Exhibition Catalogues - $55
Shipping and Handling (of Perks) - $140
What Will You Get in Return?
Autographed prints and many other goodies. Please check the panel on the right.
The Impact of the Project
Photographic images have a unique ability to represent the familiar world into confounding and confronting terms. A frozen photographic moment can infuse the past with the present and turn despair into hope. It can represent the physical world with such clarity that the heart could miss a beat. With this project, I want to create a dialogue by bringing forth my photographs to the public of Kathmandu, to the people in power, to the people who can influence and to the people who are concerned.
Other Ways You Can Help
- If you cannot make a donation, you can help by spreading the word of my campaign via word of mouth, email, list serves, newsletters and social media.
- You can also spread the word by Indiegogo share tools listed below.
Lakshya Dhungana, Sunny Pradhan, Ranzen Jha, Spacing Magazine, Mahendra Lawoti, Sujata Thapa, Arlette Kayafas, Sabin Ninglekhu, Shyam Aryal, Galen Palmer, Parag Shrestha, Peter Sramek, Anjan Chhetry, Anil Bhattarai and Nisha Shrestha Chitrakar.
CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE