Though most biennials and triennials flirt with a kind of political engagement (the refugee crisis! populism! neo-liberalism!), one can sometimes wonder whether this engagement is sincere and not just more than a hollow, abstract concept.
This was definitely not the case for the first Kathmandu Triennale, curated by SMAK director Philippe Van Cauteren that ran from the 24th of March to the 9th of April earlier this year in Nepal’s chaotic yet fascinating capital, slowly recovering from the 2015 earthquake. Van Cauteren clearly did not conceive this event just to impress his fellow curators or the handful of biennial-hoppers that were flown over for the occasion. Instead, he made a relevant and human exhibition for and with the locals, while also managing to convince a great deal of “internationals” through his project. With my throwaway camera in hand, this is what it looked like.