Frames of War- Photo Journalism for Peace

Posted: June 9, 2017 in Assignments, Writings

 

Two children, Rabin and Rabina were severely injured in the bomb blast in the bus they were traveling. They lost the warmth of their mother because of that incident and now, they are scared with the sight of the bus. Their face is disfigured in spite of plastic surgery and the dreams, they are their nightmare.

I still can hear the words of Sita Dhakal’s daughter,-“If people living in the hut are happy, don’t take their happiness away.”

This is just the story of two families taken from Frames of War/Yuddha Chitra, a documentary by Prem BK and Kesang Teseten. Nepal went through 10 years of armed conflict (1996-2006), a conflict for change, a change said to be brought sacrificing thousands of lives and destroying uncountable lives connected to them.

When Nepali media failed to incorporate the story of human sufferings, a project for the book ‘A people War’ started as a Photojournalism for peace. The project later did not limit itself to a book. Rather, 30 days Photo exhibition tour throughout the country in 31 venues were organized that brought together many people who shared the similar agony and unfolded other different stories that led to the publication of 2 more books, books as an insight to human sufferings during the war.

Not always can we see someone feeling the picture literally, can we? The video clips of a visually impaired girl touching the photos and hearing the description, the words of a girl who realized that she is not the only one who lost a father, the stories and the hopeful eyes searching the picture of their loved ones is not something that can be seen every day in some ordinary exhibition.

This documentary clenched my heart and made me ponder. With all the bullets and bombs, tear gas and stones, through jungles and through roads, we dream of turning our world into a better place by imposing new ideologies. During this process, we acknowledge the lost lives as the needed ‘sacrifice’; as the symbol of courage. But we fail to acknowledge the damage caused to the lives connected to that ‘courageous’ soul. We fail to appreciate the cost of life. The price of the blood, the price of the tears, has it been paid? The hollowness created in the life of people who are alive is yet to be filled. CAN they be filled?

I am still wondering.

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