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Queer: In our own words

Queer: In Our Own Words is a British Council Inclusion grant project led by Kaalo.101 that brings together 12 Nepali queer storytellers—6 writers and 6 artists—to collaborate and tell stories in their own words.

The participants were selected through an open call after which they were invited to attend a series of virtual and in-person workshops and mentoring sessions. Facilitated by the UK and Nepali artists, the sessions helped participants explore the art of storytelling they utilised to produce audio/visual/text narratives telling stories about their lives and stories about the queer community.

The programme was held virtually and at the Kaalo.101 space with an aim to create a safe space for the participants to share, network and learn about various forms of storytelling alongside learning about queer rights and activism. More than 1,000 people attended an exhibition held at the venue in December 2021 over a day after which the works produced have been showcased as part of WOW 2022 Virtual and in Lumbini. In Lumbini, Kaalo.101 also facilitated a conversation between the artists and the local queer community. Outputs from the project include five video poetry works, a zine featuring poetry, photographs, paintings and text and a booklet detailing the project process.

Participating artists:

  • Birat (he/him) – Instagram @bwriteous
  • Forest (they/them) – Instagram @forestghibli
  • Suvi (she/her) – Instagram @suvi.zz
  • Jharana (she/her) – Instagram @shreeshjharana
  • Prabigyan (he/him) – Instagram @prabigyanaryal
  • Jyoti (she/her) – Instagram @ztstha
  • Mimi (she/her) – Instagram @0_mimi_cha
  • Sammyy (they/them) – Instagram @___yymmas
  • Sj (they/them) – Instagram @aess.jaey
  • Sam (he/him) – Instagram @sam_grg
  • Sezz (he/they) – Instagram @sezzites__
  • Lisa (she/her) – Instagram @_isakumari_
  • Aditi Joshi

Session:

  • Theatre and Identity by Akanchha Karki
  • Improvisation by Sandeep Shrestha
  • Self-reflection and Movement by Arhat Sundar Tuladhar
  • Connections & Music Therapy by Shreeti Pradhan
  • Illustration & Identity by Mrigaja Bajracharya
  • Exploration through Symbolism by Shreya Thapa
  • Art & Light by Prajwal Bhattarai
  • Writing Off the Beaten Path by Stuti Sharma
  • Developing a Storyboard by Ubahang Nembang
  • Reinventing, Refining, Expanding by Anagha Neelakantan
  • Comics by Nica Harrison
  • Creating Characters & Stories by Sam McKay
  • Animation & Looking by Nayu Rai
  • Lyrics by Amazumi
  • Sharing sessions by Manisha Dhakal, Aaditya Rai, Rukshana Kapali and Esan Regmi
  • Mentoring by Dr Manita Newa Khadgi (she/her), Safal Lama (they/them), Gauri Nepali (she/her), Ankit Khadgi (he/they), Bijeta Gautam (she/her), Helena Aryal (they/them)

About Kaalo.101

Kaalo.101 is an arts space in Patan that aims to create a socially conscious, completely independent creative space that uses art to uplift emerging Nepali artists while engaging with the surrounding physical, social and cultural environment through an accessible, communicative and collaborative exchange. The space is a safe and comfortable home for a diverse and transcultural family of versatile artists and activists. Weblink: https://kaalo101.org/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaalo.101/?hl=en

In Our Own Words

In Our Own Words was piloted by the British Council in 2020 to support young Nepali people to tell stories, in their own words, during the pandemic. The programme’s model features an open call through which individuals are selected to learn from artists and creative professionals and collaborate to tell stories—through art media—on topics including gender, mental health and identity.

You can know more about the first edition of the programme here.

Queerness in Color by Sammy and Mimi | In our own words: Queer

Breaking the binary by Birat and Forest

Not just looking at you but seeing you by Sezz and Lisa | Queer: In our own words

I write by Suvi and Jharana | Queer: In our own words