New NAFA team formed

Kathmandu, May 25 :

The Lalitkala Loktantrik Abhiyan, an alliance of artists, today nominated office-bearers of the Nepal Association of Fine Arts (NAFA) executive team.

Bhuwan Thapa, Raju Pithakoti and Indra Khatri are members of the body headed by Kanchha Kumar Karmacharya.

Thakur Prasad Mainali, the chief of arts and craft department of the Royal Nepal Academy (RNA), and RNA council members K Karmacharya, Dr Milan Ratna Shakya and Ragini Upadhya, who were appointed by the RNA, have not resigned yet.

The team will draft a new statute, select members and conduct an election and delegate authority to elected representatives. “The field of art and craft should be given autonomy so that art can flourish,” Karmacharya said upon assuming the office. “We (NAFA) will never agree to remain a department under any academy.”

Led by veteran artist Kiran Manandhar, the Abhiyan artists had arrived on the NAFA premises at around 11 pm. Upon the team’s request, staffers of the NAFA opened the office room, which had been deserted since the artists joined in the pro-democracy movement on April 13. The artists asked Karmacharya to take charge of the NAFA and begin the process of democratising it. Kiran Manandhar, the coordinator of the movement, said, “We have a long way to go”.

Manandhar said they were compelled to take the ‘step’ as the ‘ex-executive’ of the NAFA turned a deaf ear to their request many times. “We were ready to resort to any measure to snatch power from them. Thank god we didn’t have to resort to any,” Manandhar said.

The Abhiyan is an artists’ alliance comprising 20 different organisations associated with arts and craft. In an assembly held at the Nepal Art Council on May 13, about 200 artists had given the alliance a mandate to reform the NAFA and turn it into an autonomous body. It has been demanding a separate arts academy and the launch of Master’s level studies in fine arts. The alliance scrubbed out the ‘Art and Craft Department’ from the signboard of the NAFA on May 14.

The artists have been demanding that a fine arts institute be founded.