New criminalized law brings us great joy. I have strength to fight back now. From Our Songs from the Forest

Uma Bista

Kathmandu, NEPAL

Uma Bista is a photographer based in Nepal. She works on visual narratives that focus on issues of social, cultural, familial, personal, political, and psychological perspectives on gender inequality, based in Nepal. She is an alumnus of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and Angkor Photo Festival & Workshop. She is a Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellow in 2020. Uma was named in the British Journal of Photography’s annual “Ones to Watch 2019”. Her works are being published and exhibited locally and internationally. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, NPR, The Guardian, and Caravan.

Sabtri Mijar, 40 cleans the wall of her house where she has slept during her menstruation at Oligaau, Achham on 4th March 2020. After the local government took initiation and started destroying Sheds (ChhauGoath) people started sleeping inside their homes in separate rooms. From Our Songs from the Forest

"Photography is life. It allows me to be a bird, tree, or water and go beyond my limit. I can’t imagine myself in any other position being the same. It is voice, it is a way to open doors, it is build-up relationships with people, place, and myself, it is a way to connect the outer and inner world that I am living in."

Uma Bista

“Women have a more difficult time studying and working. I feel supported now but initially,my husband fell into societal patterns and didn’t understand. Society also doesn’t want to recognise the successes of a Daughter-in-law”. — Bina Nemkul
Meena Bhandari, 47, a community health worker, recalls her early days in her profession, she fought with her family and community. She says: “It was really difficult to make people aware about what’s right and wrong. Now this new criminal law gives me hope. Slowly people started listening to us”. From Our Songs from the Forest
Oligaun is an hour by foot from Mangalsen, the district headquarters of Achham. It is less remote than most villages in Achham. Chhaupadi has been outlawed by Nepali law since 2005 and criminalized since August 2018. Oligaun has been declared a chhaupadi-free zone by local authorities. Most households still enforce the tradition.
Dhansara Kumari Mijar, 15 left her school a few years back because of her family issues. Her elder sister got married. She is responsible for household chores more than before. From Our Songs from the Forest