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.
How do we come to terms with the staggering planetary crisis that is unfolding around us every day? What are the stories and histories that we have been told that have shaped our common understanding of current urgencies, despite our disparate geopolitical and economic realities? What are the stories that we are choosing to tell?
When so much image-making and storytelling is focused on responding to one disaster after another, we take pause this edition of PhotoKTM to shift our attention away from cataclysmic and paralyzing “climate discourse” to other modes of seeing, listening, telling and learning that will help us understand this earth as more than a terraformed entity but an actual living thing.
We dedicate this edition of the festival to gather, as a community of storytellers, to think about what role we play to help restore voice and agency to non-humans while so many of our communities still struggle to find voice themselves; to rebuild relationships to land and place despite so much forced relocation and flux; to question how contemporary values that frame knowledge production, meaning making, language and rubric might be failing us; to learn anew how to pay attention, give name, mourn loss, make place, relearn histories, see beyond; and to move towards a shared politics of mutualism, collaboration, justice and care.