Nepali Kaleidoscope by Solveig Boergen
Humanization of Colors
Solveig Boergen is a German photographer who has spent more than 25 years in Asia, China, Japan, Thailand and Nepal. She now resides in Tokyo, Japan. Her main focus has always been on portraits that convey emotions (between mothers, babies and children, lovers or couples). Between 2007 and 2011, Solveig Boergen traveled to Nepal several times before finally making it home for one year in 2012. Since she relocated in Nepal, she strives to portray the unseen, the overlooked human
soul that suffers, often in the dark and whose light shines on to inspire us.
About Solveig’s work
Her initial plan was to document life around her and photograph the colors, festivals and people that make Nepal so special. After being asked again and again for photographs by local people, her plans changed and she started to go into the mountains and walk from village to village for the sole purpose of asking families if they would like to have their portrait taken. In the beginning, she was met with shyness but later with enthusiasm and often women came running down the hills when they saw and asked her to visit their home and photograph their family. Very often, the family consisted of only women and their children as the husbands was working abroad in one of the Gulf countries to create an income. These women were happy to receive portraits to send to their husbands who came back to Nepal only every few years. Every week, Solveig spent one or two day photographing in the villages and later she edited and developed the portraits and went back to the villages to distribute them. It was a very rewarding project and gave a lot of happiness not only to many Nepali families but also to her, as she says. Solveig’s second project in Nepal was to document the Rana Tharu, an ethnic minority in the Far Western part of Nepal. Legend says, that when war left them widows, the Rana Tharu women fled to the dense jungles of Southern Nepal, close to the Indian border, where they founded a society that has lasted for more than 400 years. Hidden in mosquito infested forests, they live a very simple lifestyle and little we can find in their villages that is not made by hand. It took Solveig a few months of research to connect to them but finally, in October 2012,I was invited to visit Rana Tharu villages near Dhangadhi. She spent days photographing the beautiful women in their colorful clothes, documenting their lifestyle and their backbreaking labor in the rice fields harvesting.
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