Nepal Open Studio
On 24 May 2019, Zubaan and Panos South Asia organized a one day Open Studio in Kathmandu, Nepal. Organizations like Photocircle, NexUs Culture Nepal, Word Warriors, Katha Ghera and Educational Theatre in Nepal (ETIN) took part in the event. Participants explored the themes of sexual violence and impunity through diverse performance arts like theatre and slam poetry. Each performance was followed by a feedback session where interesting points were raised about the performances and the subject matter in general.
Pragati Parajuli and Yashwaswi Karki from Word Warriors used slam poetry to address sexual violence from the survivor’s perspective. Participants from Katha Ghera performed parts of their home production, ‘Private is Political’. The pieces touched upon the impunity that operates within the family and the justice system.
The spoken word poetry performed by Nisha Karki from Word Warriors took a very unique approach to address sexual violence and impunity. Her poems were monologues of inanimate objects (the seat of a bus, a pen, etc.) that explained sexual violence of various forms taking place in different locations and circumstances. Sunaina Panthy, along with her group Educational Theatre in Nepal (ETIN) presented a play that referenced the 2018 rape and murder of Nirmala Pant, and portrayed the post-incident psychological state of the victim’s mother.
Yukta Bajracharya from Word Warriors recited a poem originally written by Sivangi Khadka that recalled the testimonials of sexual violence from various parts of India. Trailokya Raj Bajgain presented his poem, which was based on his research about Nangeli–a woman from Kerala who protested against caste based discrimination in the 19th century.
At the end of the day, certain performances were selected to be showcased inside and outside Kathmandu at various law and medical schools.