Two Nepali photography projects have been recognized and selected to receive support by the prestigious Magnum Foundation Fund, a US based program that supports photographers around the world to expand creativity and diversity in the field. In collaboration with the Prince Claus Fund, the magnum Foundation Fund provides grants and project development support to both emerginf and experienced practitioners, with an emphasis on photographers working within their communities.
The two projects are: Eclipse by Sagar Chhetri and the Feminist Memory Project by Nepal Picture Library.
Sagar Chhetri is a freelance photographer currently based in Kathmandu. Eclipse by Sagar Chhetri is an ongoing project that looks at the ambiguity and ambivalence that exixts around the identity of the people of the Madhesh-the Southern belt of Nepal along the Nepal-India border. “This region is close to my heart as I was born and raised there, despite being non-Madhesi. Through this project , I attempt tp better understand the identity struggles of my Madhesi peers. I try to look into how this border resion has been a salient incubator of political grievance and is home to one of my generation’s biggest fight for identity”, he says.
The Feminist Memory Project is a new project initiated by Nepal Picture Library, a digital photo archive run by photo.circle, that seeks to create a visual archive of women’s movements in Nepal.
Each member of the graduating class of 1966 from Thakur Ram Campus, Birgunj received a copy of this picture, shown above. Of the nine new graduates, one refused to have it framed and hung on the wall of her house. Vidhya Pradhan, the only female graduate of her class, simply walked back with the photo tucked away in her bag. “Most of my friends said they would frame and preserve it.” But Vidhya wanted to put the photo somewhere she would not be reminded of her struggle to become a graduate. “My father was not totally against education, but preferred us to stay close to home,” she says.
The materials archived will be used to create curriculum that will engage schools and colleges to encourage Nepali youth to unearth and archive their own family histories, placing their mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts at the center of their inquiries. The material will also be exhibited at the third edition of Photo Kathmandu from 12th October-16th November, 2018 and published in various forms.
This year, Magnum Foundation received 151 proposals from 29 different countries which were considered by jury comprised of Prerana Reddy, Director of Progrms at A Blade of Grass, Joshua Chuang, Curator of Photography at the New York Public Library, and Kira Pollack, Deputy Editor at Vanity Fair.
8 projects were selected to receive grants and project development support:
- Eclipse by Sagar Chhteri, contending with issues of identity within Nepal’s Madhesi community
- Orinoco Women’s Journal by Juanita Escobar, focusing on women who live along the Orinico River, marking the Colombia-Venezeula border
- Santa Barbara by Diana Markosian, exploring immigration through the eyes of her family and examining the role of a 1980s soap opera in constructing her Amercian Dream
- The Philly Bop by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, exploring a Philadelphia-based social dance through an autoenthographic lens
- Feminist Memory Project by the Nepal Picture Library, building an extensive visual archive of women’s movements and women in pivotal moments of Nepali history
- Exodus by Sarker Protick, fpcusing on abandoned feudal estates and decaying landscapes in Bangaladesh following the 1947 partition of Bengal
- Nyaope by Lindokhule Sobekwa, stories from within a community of drug users in the townships surrounding Johannesburg, South Africa
- On Andean Ground: The Yawar Fiesta by Martin Weber, looking at culture clashes in Latin America through an annual Andean ritual of residence