Freedom Forum is alarmed by an incident where street paintings painted by artists of Khoj Samuha namely Laxman Shrestha and Shiva Kumar Sharma were tampered for unknown reasons. The artist and the group painted the wall of a busy street at Kathmandu on 15 June that read "Nalayak Ma" which translates into "Unworthy Me".
According the painters, the painting intended to give message about the self realization of one's dignity. However, the street art was tampered and already covered in white paint while artist went for the follow-up next day.
Talking with Freedom Forum monitoring desk, artist Laxman Shrestha shared that "I was surprised to see our painting covered by the white paint a day later we painted it. I suspect either the security officials or the municipality must have taken such step. We had no satirical intention over the message by this street art, yet the one who covered it must have interpreted it in the wrong way."
Six months earlier as well the painting named "Blind Government" was covered by the white paint which was painted by the same group Khoj Samuha.
At a time where government surveillance to discourage the freedom of expression and association is growing rapidly, targeting the street art and tampering it is unacceptable. Freedom Forum believes that expression in all forms regardless of the medium must be protected and promoted. The artist must know why their paintings are targeted while there is no such law that forbids street paintings in Nepal intended to decorate fences, gates, and walls.
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