Friday, May 12, 2006

Trekking the Maoists

This is perhaps the reason I became a photojournalist. To go to places and to tell stories that are not your usual stuff. The story that I am about to chase has been done in the past by some photographers, but not by everyone. It is certainly not like what happened in Haiti where there were more press than rebels.

I am about to take a 20-plus-hour bus ride to a region called Rolpa in central Nepal. The bus ride is from the capital, Kathmandu, to the city of Liwang. From Liwang we will walk for at least 2 days to a city called Tiwang. Tiwang is the birthplace of the Maoist movement in Nepal which started about 10 years ago. Outside the big cities the Maoist control pretty much everything and even tax the residence for their own government.

I plan to document what and who they are and add the documentation as a portfolio to my collection. Yes, I am not doing this on assignment or for anyone. I will certainly try to sell the story if I can, but the purpose of this adventure has been and is "photography."

There are many issues that I face on this trip. The main thing is that I may not find any Maoists. The rainy season (monsoon) seems to have started early, so getting caught in one is going to be pretty rough in the country side. The physical aspect of this trip is challenging but I think I am up to it.

I just hope to survive the bus ride. For what I hear it’s a “local” bus. I may have to fight for elbowroom with a goat!

Ramin Talaie
Comfortably sitting on a bench at Kathmandu Guest House in Nepal using wireless internet!

1 comment:

Klement said...

Hello. I support the Maoists in Nepal. If you travel to Rolpa, you will certainly meet Maoists. And with the cessation in armed activities between RNA and the Maoist PLA, you will find Maoists in the cities too, even in Katmandu, carrying out all manner of political programs.

You will find the representatives of local revolutionary government in Rolpa to be friendly and courteous. Best of luck on your journey. Do not forget to document the Martyr's Road, which is connecting remote villages to to the outside world as never before. It is a concrete example of the Maoist development project.