The color red is significant in a Nepali woman’s life: it indicates marital status, symbolizes auspiciousness, sexuality, fertility, and life. Another color significant to women is white, employed to signify a woman’s purity, vulnerability and fragility as the unspoiled bearer of patriarchal honor.
A Nepali woman’s experience of life is shaped by patriarchy. The need to control a woman is ingrained in the Nepali psyche. Nonconformity comes at a cost: any defiance of norms raises questions, suspicion, concern, ridicule — some visible, others silent and invisible. I’m made aware regularly that I keep crossing many such boundaries. Amidst the conflict created by my alleged transgressions, the psychological push and pull, I struggle to be the woman I want to be: fearless, and standing by my choices.
My work attempts to explore my sense of self in relation to the society by saying things I’m not supposed to say, by making visible what is meant to stay out of sight. Through questions about body, age, monthly menstruation cycle, notions of beauty, and marriage, Confrontations also explores my relationship with my mother.
Confrontations is a part of the ongoing edition of Photo Kathmandu which will run till November 16, 2018.