Colourful murals show Nepal's dark side

Colourful murals show Nepal's dark side

KATHMANDU - Nepal's capital has been given a facelift thanks to a team of artists who painted dozens of elaborate and metres-high murals on walls, some depicting social issues like child trafficking.

Gone are political flyers, movie posters and other advertisements slapped on some of Kathmandu's drab walls, replaced by colourful paintings, some as high as 25 feet (7.6 metres).

Some 60 artists have been involved in the project called "Kolor Kathmandu" which began in January and will culminate on Thursday with the launch of a book of photographs on the murals.

"Kathmandu used to be a city of art and culture," said Yuki Poudyal, director of the project.

"But when I returned home after five years studying in the United States, I saw that it was bombarded with posters and negative visuals," said Poudyal.

The artists targeted the walls of public and private buildings, in a months-long project that features 75 murals on religious and abstract themes but also on some of Nepal's problems including caste discrimination.

Poudyal said the artists, from some 20 countries, have tried to represent Nepal's 75 districts in the paintings so that Kathmandu residents can "know stories from different parts of the country".

One mural shows girls displaced from their families, during annual flooding that occurs in Banke district on the Indian Nepal border, and falling into the hands of human traffickers.

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