12 Baisakh Camp.Hub

September 18, 2015 Thulo Byasi, Bhaktapur , Nepal

'12 Baisakh - Post Earthquake Community Art Project', was  initiated by ArTree Nepal artist collective with the Artistic Direction of collective's co-founders Sheelasha Rajbhandari and Hit Man Gurung. On 25th April, massive earthquake hit Nepal with magnitude of 7.8 Mw and 7.4 Mw on 12th May 2015. It nearly killed 9,000 people, injured more than 22,000 and left more than 3.5 million homeless. After experiencing this unpredictable and uncontrollable forces of nature, the project organically developed as an collective effort to make sense of our ephemeral existence and collective healing process. Baishakh is first month in the Nepali calendar, thus the name 12 Baisakh was literally kept after the date when earthquake struck. 

In the time of acute loss and trauma, the six months long art project was envisioned as a community based  platform where community members, artists, researchers, activists, writers, educators and other professionals could come together and contribute towards cultivating hope and celebrate resilience in already politically instable Nepal, where a decade long  Maoist Insurgency had 'officially' ended just nine years earlir. 

The project was realized in collaborating with the residents of Thulo Byasi, Bhaktapur. ArTree had been involved in Thulo Byasi after three days from the first quake.12 Baisakh evolved over two phases. Phase I focused on community support, documentation, research, and use of creative outlet for psychological counseling, hygiene, motivational screenings, immediate reliefs, upcycling & making of communal spaces and necessary trainings.Whereas Phase II was titled Camp.Hub, it looked at the development of longer-term artistic engagements by learning, re-learning and acknowledging the history, politics, culture, indigenous skills, vernacular knowledge embedded in the fabric of the community.And reimaging the communal spaces as an outlet for creative expression and sharing. Through site-specific artworks and complementary research the project present the story of Thulo Byasi, its inhabitants, tangible-intangible heritage in an unprecedented narrative and it was an attempt to reshape how contemporary artists look at critical issues facing our communities. 

During the Camp.Hub exhibition,works and performances were presented in seventeen different private and public venues in community.  

The project had participation of around one hundred ten individuals and collectives with support of hundreds more.