New photo book on Nepal conflict to be launched

12 Sep 2006

After a gruelling selection process an international jury has selected 180 images from  2,561 pictures from 113 photographers submitted for a book on Nepal's ten-year insurgency.

Published by nepa~laya the bilingual book is called,

A people war: Images of the Nepal Conflict 1996-2006.

Besides the photographs, the book contains a preface and captions in both English and Nepali.  The project was envisioned by Kunda Dixit. The cover image, design and select pictures were revealed to a select audience on Tuesday 12 September.

"From 1996 to 2006 the Nepali people have been caught up in a war waged in their name. The 'people's war' is what the Maoist called their revolution, which is appropriate because in the years that followed it was mostly the people who died and suffered," writes Kunda Dixit in the preface to the book.

The Jury also included noted international photographers and journalism educators, Shahidul Alam and Shyam Tekwani. The three member selection panel brought a refined sensibility about Nepal and a lot of cumulative experience as war correspondents around the world. All three hold a deep conviction that the visual medium has the power to sway people away from violence.

"It is not a challenge to take pictures of corpses, however, the real test is to take pictures that grab the decisive moment, deliver the message sharply and without ambiguity, while at the same time being tasteful and subtle," said Dixit at a sneak preview of the book at Yala Maya Kendra in

Jury member Shahidul Alam says he was impressed by the intensity and passion in the pictures, a trait he said is usually missing in more seasoned war photographers. "They also contained hope and belief in the future," he said.

The cover photo for the book is of children peering through the battered wall of a police station in Motipur of Kailali. Explaining his choice of this particular image for the cover, Jury member Shayam Teckwani says, "My selection of the pictures, including the cover image of the boys looking through the shell hole of a police station, was based on the graphic strength of the image, its historic value, its content and relevance and the dramatic representation."

"As the selection process is finished, the book will now go to print and will be in the market within two months," said Kiran Krishna Shrestha team leader of the publishers, nepa~laya, "this has been an extremely exciting project and we hope it will help to sustain the peace process."