/ Festival



1 December 2020

PhotoKTM- Fourth Edition
3 December 2020 – 2 December 2021

photo.circle is pleased to announce that the fourth edition of PhotoKTM is going forward despite all challenges presented by Covid-19. PhotoKTM4 is breaking out of its 5-week format and shifting to a year-long calendar from 3 December 2020 – 2 December 2021.

In the past years, the festival has invited photographers and other practitioners who engage with or through the visual medium to develop, showcase and participate in exhibitions, workshops and symposia, a 6-week residency, an incubator program for practitioners from across South Asia, a local arts education program for young people in the city, and various pop-up events among other core and collateral programming.

This year, the festival will pause its public exhibition program for the opening months due to Covid-19 concerns, but reevaluate the situation in mid-2021 and proceed with exhibitions accordingly. Other discursive programs will shift to virtual platforms and take place through the coming year.

PhotoKTM continues its commitment 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 virtual coming togethers still make possible? What prospects might this ‘we-feeling’ catalyze? The fourth edition of the festival will build on these ideas of assemblage, collectivization and the commons. It will platform several collaborative artistic, research and pedagogic initiatives that will feed into on-going local civic discourse and campaigns.

“The festival is part of a larger continuum of image-making, research and civic engagements for us at photo.circle and Nepal Picture Library. We have always asked ourselves – what might be possible if we were to take the resources and energy we commit to a 5-week festival, and stretch it out over a longer period? Would we be able to foster deeper, less frenzied connections and dialogue? This feels like a good time to shift gears and find out. We are excited about the new possibilities this extended format will open up.” says festival director, NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati.

PhotoKTM4 will begin with an opening week of programming from 3 – 9 Dec 2020. All programs will take place virtually. The opening week will include Review Sessions by 20 industry experts from around the world including Chelsea Matiash – senior editor of digital storytelling at The New York Times, Sarker Protick – image-maker, curator and teacher from Bangladesh, Noelle Flores Théard – Program Officer at Magnum Foundation, Gwen Lee -Director and co-founder of the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF), Emeka Okereke – Nigerian visual artist, filmmakers and Dj, Kishor Sharma – Kathmandu based documentary photographer, 13 Jara – a collective of visual storytellers based in India, Newsha Tavakolian – independent photographer and member of Magnum Agency, among others. The opening week will also feature discursive talks and conversations featuring Thuma Collective (Myanmar), The Confluence Collective (Sikkim and Darjeeling Hills, India), Prasiit Sthapit (Nepal), Aunohita Mojumdar (India), Aziz Sohail (Pakistan), Sumitra Sunder (India), Diwas Raja Kc (Nepal), and Monica Alcazar- Duarte (Mexico/UK).

The festival will be announcing a call for nominations for the Award of Excellence in the weeks to come. The PhotoKTM Award of Excellence honors an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the development of Nepali photography. The PhotoKTM4 Awards Committee includes noted Nepali photojournalists and editors including Bikas Rauniar, Bikas Karki and Usha Titikshu. This year, the festival will be introducing a new mentorship and grant program for early-career Nepali photojournalists as well.

“Photo Kathmandu has mobilized what is easily one of the most supportive and nurturing art communities that I have experienced. As an Artist-in-Residence at the third edition of the festival in 2018, I was encouraged to pursue my boldest ideas which grew my practice into new directions and dialogues. For the fourth edition, I am excited to see what formats of engagement will be made possible by its reconsidered pace and longer brewing period, as the team continues to imagine new modes of gathering, publishing and exhibiting within the arts.” says Fiza Khatri (artist and curator from Pakistan) who was a participant of PhotoKTM 2018, and who will also be joining to festival again this year to conduct a Review Session.

PhotoKTM was born at a time of deep crisis in 2015, right after the devastating earthquakes that year, and was organized despite the crippling blockade and fuel crises that followed. Drawing from the lessons learned then, the festival team will try to turn this pandemic into an opportunity to bring together artists from all over and create international visibility for the festival and all participants.

About the organizers

photo.circle was established in 2007 as a platform for photography in Nepal. Through workshops, publications, exhibitions and commissioned assignment work, photo.circle strives to create opportunities for photographers to learn, exhibit, publish and market their work. It also runs the Nepal Picture Library, Nepal’s only digital photo archive that strives to document an inclusive visual history of Nepal.

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For further press queries please contact Shristi Shrestha/ PhotoKTM4 team at press@photoktm.com