Current Weather
The Spy FM

Women Who Broke All The Rules In Nepal

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
October 8, 2013

Photojournalist Arantxa Cedillo has worked all over southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. But in 2011 she decided to spend a few years in Nepal. She said it interested her because it’s a country in constant political turmoil, as well as “one of the most beautiful corners of the world.”

While in Kathmandu, she heard numerous stories of discrimination against women, and decided to pursue a project focusing on the strong women who had fought back against entrenched sexism there. The women she profiled were all the first to break rules in their field in Nepal — women who now are powerful representatives of change.

Cedillo’s portraits cover a wide segment of women, including a former sex slave, an elephant trainer, a swimmer, and the first pilot in the country. Each photo includes a statement from the woman telling a small part of their personal story.

She said that finding women to participate was a challenge at first, but once she got started the project grew organically.

“All the women I photographed were very determined to [tell] their stories and hope to bring some positive change,” she said.

Instead of a traditional plain backdrop, Cedillo used intricate hand-painted tapestries that are traditional in Nepalese formal portraiture.

“[Those] photographs are always placed in special corners of houses and usually the people wear traditional clothes and display very serious expressions,” she said. “I decided to reverse that common form of portraiture, allowing each woman to represent herself, thereby opening a visual debate of what being a woman means in a changing society like Nepal.”

Tracking down the backdrops was often as difficult as tracking down her subjects. Cedillo scoured old photo studios for the backdrops, and found that many had been thrown or given away over the years. With the help of an assistant she often negotiated to rent ones she found temporarily for her shoots.

Cedillo says that the most joyful part of producing her series was getting to meet all of the women.

“They are symbols of resistance, courage and determination in a country that still suffers from repression and where men still have the last word. They have also become my heroes.” [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

3PM to 6PM All Things Considered

All Things Considered

For two hours every weekday, All Things Considered hosts Robert Siegel, Michele Norris and Melissa Block present the program's trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features.

Listen Live Now!

6PM to 7PM Marketplace

Marketplace

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics.

View the program guide!

7PM to 9PM Juke Joint Revival

Juke Joint Revival

Juke Joint Revival rivals any Rockabilly/Roots show on the air today, and the host of that program, Jenni Zee, lives and breathes the Rockabilly lifestyle. Her show has drawn the attention of Rockabilly fans the world over.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center