XIX International Oral History Association Conference

Monday 27th of June 2016 , Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore, India, 13 min read

From Nepal, Sanjeev Maharjan, Subas Tamang and Prayush Bijukchhe were selected for the conference which had the theme "Speaking, Listening, Interpreting: the critical engagements of oral history”


Sanjeev Maharjan’s project, "Story from Thulo Byasi" and Subas Tamang’s project "Basibiyalo" were created during Camp.Hub - Post Earthquake Community Art Project 2015, which was organized by ArTree Nepal


"Stories from Thulo Byasi" - Sanjeev Maharjan

“Stories from Thulo Byasi” was conceived during interviews with local residents of Thulo Byasi. The personal narratives of the residents were situated within the larger context of the shared experience - houses in ruins, people searching for their belongings by rummaging through the rubble, a bulldozer constantly clearing the roads – which was the chaotic reality of Byasi. Months past the devastating quakes, it was still easy to recall what the final days of April, 2015 was like. Sharing stories became a great way to connect with and console each other in the wake of the disaster. This will continue for years if not for generations.


The quakes were historic, the great ‘big one’ that everyone had feared. Personal narratives will be crucial to understand the real scope of the quakes’ impact. Remembering the date or statistics will not suffice. Sanjeev Maharjan thus presents the experiences of Byasi’s residents through a symbolic motif: bricks. Each brick used in Maharjan’s installation were sourced from a collapsed building. Besides poignantly referring to the devastating earthquake, the bricks held memories of families that lost their homes.


"Basibiyalo: A Sharing Space" - Subas Tamang

During the weeks following the quakes, the community of Thulo Byasi was uneasy around standing structures. Incessant tremors deepened such reservations. During Phase I of ‘12 Baisakh’, artist Subas Tamang conceived Basibiyalo to address the lack of communal spaces in the temporary camp site. Working with found material, Tamang produced a furnished space with the help of children and youth living at the camp. The space was eventually used by those displaced for a variety of activities. For Camp.Hub, Tamang further explored the connection between people and spaces through an interactive work installed within a severely damaged falcha. Using hours of documentation, recordings and interviews, the artist presented portraits of community members as an interface. Viewers interacted with the faces to hear their stories.