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, PhotoKTM 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 approaching the festival programming as a continuum? We wondered what if instead of an ephemeral platform that pops up every two years and then dissipates into the city, the festival found a more permanent home in Patan? What might be made possible in terms of deepening our engagement with the people and projects that the festival platforms?
We are happy to share that these thoughts and intentions are being manifested this year; 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 on an on-going basis. It will house a library and reading room, a mini gallery that can also hold small intimate events, and a studio residency space. We are very excited to continue to program and build local collaborations in/around the Patan House.