Single-channel video and poem, 2016
Photographs,2008 - ongoing

 Courtesy of the artist and anonymous photographers 

Tharu women have made signifcant contributions to the struggle for Indigenous rights and recognition in Nepal. This series by artist, writer, and activist Indu Tharu documents the participation and leadership of women in strengthening the movement. The title Ragat Timro Pani Raato Chha can be translated as “Your Blood Runs Red Too.” The photos show key moments of activism from 2012 onwards, although the major turning point in women’s involvement was around 2008. In Kailali district of the western Terai region, large and sustained demonstrations demanding a Tharuhat State, or Tharu ethic state, were carried out by a range of Tharu organisations, in direct opposition to the ‘United Far West’ (UFW) protests. To weaken morale, the UFW – padded by political support, police forces, and the mainstream media – would attack Tharu men and boys. Wanting to sustain the momentum of the movement, Tharu women organized, marched, and rallied, taking up the responsibility of public demonstration. By wearing their traditional attire to protests and reviving Tharu-specifc festivals, language, and other intangible forms of their heritage, they have also preserved their ancestral culture. Ragat Timro Pani Raato Chha explores the systemic culture of exclusion, oppression, and violence facing the Tharu community since the beginning of the Nepali state. This decades-long intergenerational movement is yet to see resolution.

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