Photographs and sound

Courtesy of the artist

At the peak of Nepal’s decade-long con fict, news of deaths and disappearances had become commonplace. On 1 May 2004, artist and activist Ashmina Ranjit staged Happening: Present Situation, not only to perturb Kathmandu’s apathy towards the armed con fict raging in rural areas but also to subvert the national prohibition on public gatherings during a state of emergency. Ranjit covered herself in black ink and walked in silence alongside other performers towards Singha Durbar, the seat of the Nepali government. More than 100 individuals dressed in all black walked in silence, in pairs, and took turns falling to the ground. The fallen bodies were then outlined with white chalk. Fifty-two radio stations across Nepal broadcasted a cacophony of wails, cries, and lamentations during the march, activating the public space with a paradoxical sense of composure and chaos.


The artist's participation is made possible with support from the US Embassy in Nepal.

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