People After War - the third book in A People War Trilogy releasing soon

18 Nov 2009

nepa~laya is launching the third part of its A People War trilogy and opening a permanent exhibit of images of the Nepal conflict on 21st November 2009, which also coincides the signing of the third anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. (CPA).

The third book is called People After War and follows A People War (2006) and Never Again (2008) books. All three books were edited by Kunda Dixit and focus on the civilian victims of the ten-year conflict that killed more than 15,000 Nepalis.

A People War was a picture book and nepa~laya took the photographs in it on a travelling exhibition to 32 districts in 2007-8. It was visited by 350,000 people, some of whose testimonies about the war are published in the second book, Never Again.

The third volume in the trilogy, People After War, goes back to some of the characters in the pictures in the first book to find out how their lives have been in the intervening years since their photographs were taken.

Says Kunda Dixit: “We have found ordinary people with extraordinary stories, and they are all uplifting because they prove just how resilient and hopeful the Nepali people are about the future despite the sorrows of war that they lived through.”

People After War features photographs and profiles of a brother and sister who fought on opposite sides during the war and are finally reunited with their father, a vigilante who turned into a sadhu after the ceasefire, and the daily struggle of survival of the relatives of those who were killed or disappeared during the war.

“The books serve to remind us of the horrors of what we Nepalis experienced and how long it takes for the wounds to heal,” adds Dixit. “It is important to remember so that society can resolve its differences peacefully without having to suffer an even more devastating conflicts in future.”

nepa~laya and Madan Puraskar are collaborating to put the images from A People War trilogy in a permanent exhibition at Madan Puraskar in Patan Dhoka. The exhibition will also have additional photographs from the conflict and be a repository for people’s testimonies about the war.

“We hope that the exhibition will become the nucleus of a peace museum that can have an archival as well as educational function,” explains nepa~laya’s Kiran Krishna Shrestha.

Exhibits of the stories from People After War are also being taken on a travelling show to seven places beyond Kathmandu from 23 November – 12 December.

It will visit Itahari, Ilam, Damak, Hetauda, Kawasoti, Nepalganj and Tansen.