design.nl
Sluit Filter
Search:
Dutch design news website

Blog: Nepal Adventures Week 4

20 students from the Rietveld Academie Amsterdam left for Nepal to work with students from Kathmandu. This exchange project was initiated by Erna Anema and is being led by Aaf van Essen, Manon van Kouswijk, Matthias Keller, Ellert Haitjema, Joost Post and Sophie Krier. Design.nl asked Sophie, head of the Design Lab department at the Rietveld Academie, to keep a weblog over the coming weeks.

By No author /asdf 19-03-2008

20 students from the Rietveld Academie Amsterdam left for Nepal to work with students from Kathmandu. This exchange project was initiated by Erna Anema and is being led by Aaf van Essen, Manon van Kouswijk, Matthias Keller, Ellert Haitjema, Joost Post and Sophie Krier. Design.nl asked Sophie, head of the Design Lab department at the Rietveld Academie, to keep a weblog over the coming weeks.

On April 11 2002, Francis Alÿs asked 500 volunteers to form a line. Their goal was to move a sand dune situated in the surroundings of the city of Lima. The human comb progressed step-by-step, pushing forward a certain quantity of sand with shovels and hence moving the dune from its original position. The collective effort was baptised “When faith moves mountains”.

Bhaktapur, March 2008. Four girls stand on a heap of gravel. Two of them have large baskets tied to their foreheads. A third girl transfers the gravel to the baskets, while a fourth helps pull the shovel up in the air by pulling firmly on a string; a beautiful yet harsh image of cooperation.

“hami bichma tussen ons ” is the title of the project that Maartje Smits and Bikash Malakar will present tomorrow at the Nepal Art Council. A title like a wish, best told with a partly Dutch and partly Nepalese accent. In this project Maartje and Bikash have set out to explore the similarities and differences between them through images.

A girl in a green dress is sitting by the side of the road in broad daylight. Her gaze is quiet and undefined. A boy sits with his back to the road. His clothes blend in with the falling dusk. The two recordings, viewed side by side, create a strange sense of displacement: two strangers, living in the same place, remain separated by time.

A girl and a boy are standing side by side. They are writing in tiny notebooks. Once in a while he looks up or she looks away. As time passes, a strange kind of intimacy grows between them. They share the same space but their feelings might not.

A group of Nepali women are doing their daily wash. Their gestures, the colourful arrangement of buckets, the chaotic traffic nearby... Everything seems shaped by habit – everything but one detail: a red haired girl tries to do the washing as efficiently as her colleagues but only succeeds in getting her skirt wet and her laundry messy.

A group of men kneel round a board game. Among them is a boy, willingly playing along. Although the boy seems near to the men, he doesn’t really become part of the game. The group has a language of its own.

Two sandals and two sneakers walk the streets of Kathmandu. At first they walk in pace but then they suddenly fall out of rhythm and attempt to tune in with each other, only to lose track of the other again...

By trying to frame ways in which lapses in time, emotion, rhythm, behaviour and gender either create separations or create a possible ‘in between’ language, this project raises an important question with regards to cultural exchange programs and NED-NEP in particular, namely: how close can we and should we be, really? And how much space can we give each other? In other words: how can an exchange work for both sides in a constructive way?

The challenge addressed through NED-NEP is to find out what creativity can mean for two extremely different, yet also (somewhere, somehow) corresponding cultures.

(Photos by Sophie and Erna, stills by Maartje Smits and Bikash Malakar)


1 Francis Alÿs. Born 1959, Antwerp (Belgium). Lives in Mexico City. “A Project for Geological Displacement” was conducted in collaboration with Rafael Ortega and Cuauhtémoc Medina.

Add to favorites

 

 

Share this:

Additional information

Points of sale

Related

Rating

star1 star2 star3 star4 star5

( 0 Votes, average: 0 out of 5)

click to vote

Mail this item

Your favourites

You have no favourites