In the summer of 2008 Anya Vaverko made her way to Nepal, having just come from Myanmar documenting landmine victims of the liberation. While Kathmandu is at the heart of many political and social struggles of its own, the youth of the nation’s capital have been known to provide a fun and poignant insight into a changing culture.
In her words, the “scene” in Kathmandu is not pure literal punk rock–the music is usually metal, the ethic isn’t at all anti-commercial or anti-capitalist or anti-racist–but it is a change that is a drastic departure from centuries of tradition. And that definitely is punk.
What drew you to Kathmandu?
I had been traveling in India and very randomly wound up in Nepal because I happened to be near and decided to check it out. At that point, though I grew up in and around NYC (Queens), I did not have much of a sense of home anywhere. I’ve hung around cities in many countries and continents and Kathmandu struck me as very different. I connected with people there right away, began trying to learn the language, and had a lot of fun. Today it is the city I know and love best.
Have you shot similar scenarios or scenes in other countries and do you plan on going to more places to cover music?
I love music and I do like to document musicians, as well as subcultures in general. I recently did a lot of photography and videography at the Kerrville Folk festival in Kerrville, TX, which I came to discover is really something unique and special, especially for musicians who feel it to be their home and family. Just recently I did video at a Nepali concert in Dallas, where the scene was very much KTM (via Dallas) punk, mixed with all other kinds of scenes. I am definitely interested in continuing to document the changing culture in modern Nepal in general and in terms of music. I hope to do a film or photo project on the girls in the scene at some point, some of whom I know are starting punk bands of their own.
You can see more of Anya’s work and travels on her website.