24 - 30 October 2014 #729

Art and the planet

A biennial art and environment festival, that sees artists, environmentalists, and organisations come together for the environment cause
Stéphane Huët

Since 2010, Alliance Française of Kathmandu (AFK) and the French Embassy in Nepal has been organising Planet Nepal, a biennial art and environment festival, that sees artists, environmentalists, and organisations come together for the environment cause.

The third edition of the festival will take place end of the month 31 October. This year, the festival theme is 'Family Farming' to highlight the neglect that smallholder farms face in Nepal and around the world.

“As United Nations declared 2014 the year of Family Farming we chose this theme to be part of the worldwide celebrations,” says Ophélie Belin, director of AFK.

Organisers have prepared a long line-up of exhibitions, presentations, and performances for the two-day event at Tundikhel. French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) is curating an exhibition ‘Family Farming, An Asset for the Planet’.

Likewise, Pokhara-based Li-Bird is putting on display seed varieties from community seed banks. A group of organic farmers will also exhibit their produce at the event.

For the arts part of the festival, Kathmandu University School of Arts and Design students are hosting an exhibition of installation art, resulting from their workshop with American artist Karl Knapp. Red Panda Trust is putting together a theatre performance to draw attention to the need to protect endangered species.

'My Dear Little Planet', a series of nine short stories explaining major environmental issues, will kickstart the film festival. A Dark Cloud on the Top of the World directed by Agnès Moreau, My Trash is Treasure, The Seeds War, directed by Clément Montfort and Stenka Quillet, will also be screened at the event. The last film will be followed by a debate with co-director, Clément Montfort, Kunda Dixit, Ram Bahadur Rana of Li-Bird and noted agronomist, Madan Rai.

French artist Komplex Kapharnaum will open the festival with his performance of Do Not Clean, which is a multidisciplinary and itinerant show that will start from Shree Sankata Temple, in Tebahal, to end at Tundikhel. It aims at sharing new ways of up cycling and recycling with the dropouts of the society. Other musicians that will play at the fest are French musician Tangi Penard, and Nepali bands Night and Kutumba.

Says Belin: “We believe this dialogue between scientific facts and artistic performances is an attractive way of raising awareness on our impact of the environment.”


Read also:

Red panda on the red list, Sonam Tashi Lama

Earming from nature to pay for its upkeep, Kunda Dixit

A growing partnership, Marty Logan

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