A Federal Life:Exhibit by 22 young artists

- SADIA KHATRI, Kathmandu
A Federal Life:Exhibit by 22 young artists

Jun 17, 2013-

Our project [goal] is to identify what federalism is and what it isn’t,” stated Rohan Edrisinha, international project manager of UNDP’s Support to Participatory Constitution Building in Nepal (SPCBN). A Federal Life is an initiative of SPCBN/UNDP, conducted in collaboration with the School of Arts, Kathmandu University. At the opening on June 14, Edrisinha explained that, with Nepal now moving towards an inclusive new constitution, A Federal Life is an experiment in provoking dialogue through an alternative forum. Thomas Gass, the ambassador for Switzerland, echoed these sentiments; he maintained that change requires debate, and that the exhibition embodied how different entities could work together to create a total much superior to the sum of its parts.

Allusions to politics were conspicuous throughout the speeches. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University, spoke about art as an instrument of expressing freedom, while Shoko Noda, country director of UNDP, elaborated on the SPCNB’s commitment to the constitution-building process by bringing together a diverse selection of young artists.

The versatility of the artists is visually apparent in the diversity of their work. Cloth, canvas, mixed media, photographs; a range of materials has been utilised to express ideas of hope, uncertainty, history and diversity. All artists participated in a two-day intensive workshop followed by three days of extensive discussion. In the second phase, they each worked on their pieces, which will now be up at the Yala Maya Kendra in Patan Dhoka until June 20.

To foster further interaction, a promo video is also on display at the gallery, and the staircase leading to the first floor has been plastered with behind-the-scenes photographs of the workshops and the creation process.

UNDP hopes that, in light of the political situation, this exhibition will add an innovative thread to the ongoing discussions about federalism and the constitution, especially among the youth. As Edrisinha asked the audience: “How about trying to have a debate among the art community—not politicians, not lawyers?”

A Federal Life is on display at the Yala Maya Kendra in Patan until June 20

Published: 18-06-2013 09:29

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