PhotoKTM creates conversations between the city, its public, its past, and its aspirations.
The festival invites photographers and other practitioners who engage with or through the visual medium to develop, showcase and participate in an exhibition program, workshops and symposia, a residency, an incubator program for practitioners from across South Asia, a local arts education program for young people in the city, and various collaborative pop-up events among other core and collateral programming.
PhotoKTM is committed to the visual, to the public, to history as well as to contemporary practice in all its plurality, to artistic, political and ideological expressions and actions that disrupt and resist but also repair, and to creating time and space to come together to describe the world, and discuss the world with shared concern and agency.
What kind of community and collective imagination might such a coming together make possible? What prospects might this ‘we-feeling’ catalyze, despite or perhaps because of its ephemeral nature?
Each edition of PhotoKTM builds on these ideas of assemblage and collectivization. It platforms several collaborative artistic, research and pedagogic initiatives that attempt to feed into on-going local conversations and campaigns.
Photo Kathmandu is organized by photo.circle, a platform for photography based in Kathmandu founded in 2007.
In 2020, as the pandemic hit the world hard, we attempted to rethink notions of time, space and gathering. We asked ourselves what might be possible if we shifted from a 5-week festival format to an on-going continuum approach? We wondered what if instead of an ephemeral platform that pops up every two years and then dissipates into the city, PhotoKTM found a more permanent home in Patan? What might be made possible in terms of strenthening local engagement?
We are happy to report that these curiosities are now being manifested! PhotoKTM is moving into the Patan House in Dhaugal starting July 2022 and setting up a permanent space there. The Patan House space is not replacing the festival, but will serve as an anchor for its core values and programs. It will host a library and reading room, a small gallery and a studio residency space. We are very excited to continue to program and build local collaborations in/around The Patan House. Watch out for more announcements soon!