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14 Stories: Living Memories of War

…every photo completely rejects any rationale for conflict and describes its destructiveness. I wish that this exhibition will contribute to establishing lasting peace in the society, and that the government will bring clear and effective policies and programs towards healing the wounds of conflict victims.

‘14 Stories: Living Memories of War’ is a book and exhibition of photo stories of civilians who are living with conflict-related disabilities. These personal stories are the testimonies of living witnesses, who suffered directly from the violence of the decade-long conflict in Nepal (1996-2006).

At the end of 2018, the exhibition went on tour to the 14 story-tellers’ districts – Myagdi, Kaski, East and West Rukum, Banke, Bardia, and Dolakha – in coordination with the Conflict Victims’ Common Platform and local victims’ organisations. In February 2019, the work was exhibited at the Staff College in Kathmandu.

Hundreds of people visited the exhibition including school students, local government officials and members of the general public. Here are a few of the responses received:

I felt that they were very powerful, showing in pictures and words how people are facing and dealing with very difficult times. To those who witnessed and experienced the conflict these stories reminded us once again about that period; for those who did not witness the conflict, the younger generations, it has shown the pain that the conflict inflicted on people…

The stories tell us about the courageous life struggles, aspirations and hopes of the victims. It is a shame that even after 13 years of ending of conflict, the victims have not been ensured of their right to truth, justice and reparation.

At first, I felt sad, but when I read about their lives I got to know that being disabled is not an obstacle if you have strong will power and self-confidence. I felt that they are motivating others to live life. I got inspiration that we should never lose hope.

The story-tellers along with other civilians living with disabilities caused by the conflict have recently formed the National Network of Disabled Conflict Victims.

The photographs are by photographer Kishor Sharma and the exhibition was produced by photo.circle and published by CVCP with support from GIZ-Civil Peace Service.

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