Print Edition - 2017-04-04  |  Life & Style

A city transformed

  • How mural artists are reclaiming Dhankuta’s streets

Apr 4, 2017-

Until recently, the walls lining up the Dhankuta Bazaar were mostly cluttered with film posters and political slogans. Now, the same walls feature either the landscapes of far-off mountains, or stark sketches and portraits, accompanied with memorable one-liners. 

What would have been unimaginable just a month ago has now happened: Pedestrians these days stop mid-road to take a peek at the remodeled walls. In fact, anyone walking through the gallis and chowks of Dhankuta these days can see small groups of artists—brushes and bucket of paint in hand—adroitly transforming the city’s walls. 

One of such artists is Anil Subba, whom I encountered at Madan Chowk. “Our aim is obvious: to try to add beauty to the city,” Subba told me. “We thought, if we can make something of an aesthetic value out of these walls, which no one 

seems to care about, it will go on to have positive impacts on the locals and visitors. We are driven by one common objective: That art gives us energy and spices up our lives.” Subba is leading the group of artists currently immersed in the transformation. 

For instance, if one takes a walk along the Hulak Tole-Buspark stretch, one would be forgiven for believing that the staircases have been carpeted by colourful dhaka cloth. 

Bipin Shrestha of the organisers Deurali Youth Club says that the current campaign is an attempt to keep the walls from being advertising platforms for political parties and film distributors and instead using it as a platform for art and community.

“On the one hand, it honours creativity. On the other, it inspires the denizens to keep the bazaar tidy. And it’s pleasant to look at, is it not?” said Shrestha.

The subjects of the paintings range from abstract art, to landscapes to portraits of indigenuous people.

The ongoing campaign will run for a week and has been dubbed the Dhankuta Art Project. 

Published: 04-04-2017 09:08

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