Heal­ing the quake vic­tims through art

People's Review - - LAST PAGE -

Ear­lier this year, in May, a three­month com­mu­nity art project had kicked off in the Val­ley, where 18 artists in res­i­dency trav­elled to Si­pa­pokhare vil­lage in Sind­hul­pal­chowk, a set­tle­ment hard-hit by the 2015 earth­quakes. The res­i­dency closed with an ex­hi­bi­tion that fea­tured art­work cre­ated by the res­i­dent artists and par­tic­i­pants. The par­tic­i­pat­ing res­i­dent artists, who hailed from Fin­land, In­dia, Bangladesh and Nepal, lived both in Kath­mandu and in the vil­lage with the lo­cal Dalit fam­i­lies and con­ducted back-to-back work­shops that helped the com­mu­nity heal through art and ex­pres­sion, said the or­gan­is­ers. “Our aim was to cre­ate a com­mu­nity art project that sup­ported the com­mu­nity of Si­pa­pokhare in re­build­ing after the earth­quake. The re­build­ing we were look­ing at was not phys­i­cal, in­stead, as artists we wanted to con­trib­ute in the heal­ing process,” says Ash­mi­naRan­jit, founder of LASANAA, the arts col­lec­tive which ini­ti­ated the project along­side NexUs Cul­ture Nepal in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Uni­ver­sity of Arts, Helsinki, Fin­land. “That be­ing said, it was not a oneway process where the artists helped the lo­cals. It was an in­ter­ac­tive, in­ten­sive jour­ney where the artists and the com­mu­nity mem­bers to­gether ques­tioned their own pre­con­cep­tions and val­ues re­volv­ing around cre­ation of art,” Ran­jit added.

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