Defying the patriarchal society, historically a number of women in Nepal came to the forefront and rewrote their lives while inspiring many. Now the Nepal Picture Library, at the ongoing India Art Fair, is honouring their strength with The Public Life of Women, a feminist memory project.
Founded by Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati, The Nepal Picture Library, started the feminist memory project in April 2018 with an attempt to create a visual archive of various feminist movements in the history of Nepal.
The Morning Standard speaks to Yutsha Dahal, one of the researchers of the project. According to her, the research project marked its beginning with an open call to contribute images of leading Nepalese women. Moreover, the key ideas of the project was to look at the history through the female lens.
Dahal says the project brings forward several instances from history where women have taken on diverse roles. “It’s important for the Nepalese women to come into public life and owning public spaces. The women have led from the front in sectors like politics, education policy among others.”
On their booth (E13) wall we see photographs of Tharu women, an indigenous community, who defied the abuse of landlords in 1980. “The women later went to a local photo studio and got themselves clicked,” says Dahal.
One also comes across letters from Nepalese politician Hisila Yami to her daughter when Yami was underground during Nepalese (Maoist) Civil War (1996-2006). The documents are guidelines to her daughter who is dealing with menstruation. “The letters are moving because Hisila Yami was herself in difficult circumstances during this time.”
Previously exhibited at Delhi’s Khoj International Artists’ Association, The Public Life of Women offers many such examples on display which familiarise viewers with these fascinating women.
In a nutshell
Founded by Nayantara Gurung Kakshapati, The Nepal Picture Library, started the feminist memory project in April 2018 as an attempt to create a visual archive of feminist movements in the history of Nepal.