Karnali Arts Centre is a holistic arts and community based not-for-profit organization in Mugu. We envision to become a cultural hub for aspiring artists and activists to generate an inter-generational dialogue on the tangible and intangible heritages and knowledge systems of Karnali.
Karnali Arts Centre is:
a vision. It is an organization that is unraveling and becoming as we speak and write about it. We stand for the right to culture of every individual despite the imaginary lines drawn to create disparities, discriminations, and divisions. These imaginary lines may be geographical, political, or social in nature. We believe that through the preservation, promotion, and practice of arts and culture – both being interwoven into intricate patterns of livelihoods – we can re-establish and re-build a sense of belonging and worth amongst people who have either lost or are in the process of losing generations of local and cultural knowledge systems.
an experience. It is a process of learning, documenting, archiving, curating, and sharing the tangible and intangible cultural heritages of the Karnali region into diverse narratives of “experiences” that anyone can have an access to. We want to acknowledge the layers to our experiences – myths, stories, songs, music, movements – and every layer enriches our experiences.
an experiment. We want to seed the next generation of holistic arts community in Karnali. We want to design and implement arts projects that incorporate a holistic idea of arts: various forms of artistic expressions inter-connected with various cultural experiences; and an amalgamation of these two can help achieve a holistic sense of arts in a community.
In 2062 BS, a group of local theatre artists performed a play called “Karnali Dakhin Bagdo Chha”. This play represented not only the plights of Karnali but also its culture as it was performed in the Khas Bhasa. It ran for more than a month regularly at Gurukul Theatre, New Baneshwor. Every show was a full-house with people crowded, perspiring, engaged, and moved by the scenes unfolding in front of them. The projected river, the long ropeway, and arduous experiences of the people of Karnali by artists from Karnali was something that had never happened before.
This created a momentum of acknowledging the complexities and realities of human struggle at the face of poverty, disparity, politics, migration, and so forth. This also created an opportunity for some of us to meet and start working on an idea that we were passionate about. For the past decade or even more, some of the local artists from the play have been staging street dramas in the villages of Karnali and laying foundations to the possibilities of opening an arts centre there.
Our story began with empathy and continues to build onto a collaborative sense of doing something relevant, embarking on a journey of rediscovering and redefining what culture means to us through arts.
Home Page Photo Credit: Kshitiz Shrestha
Logo Credit: Ratan Karna
About Us Photo Credit: Sanjeev Maharjan