Laxmi Murthy

Laxmi Murthy

Kathmandu ~ Nepal

Laxmi Murthy is Associate Editor of Hri Insitute Hri Institute -SaT, Kathmandu, Nepal The Southasia Trust (SaT) was established in 1996 with the mission of promoting cultural exchange in a region starkly divided by geopolitics and inter-community estrangement, particularly since the Partition of the Subcontinent in 1947. To date, SaT’s main activity has been the publication of the Himal Southasian monthly, the first and only regional magazine. Himal serves a region which houses almost a fourth of the world’s population, stretching from Afghanistan to Burma and from Tibet to the Maldives. Focussing on a specific topic each month (Children’s literature in June), Himal features a series of reports, analyses and book reviews, among other things, on issues of relevance to a Southasian audience. In addition, Himal also organises conferences, lectures and events such as the Southasia Cartoon Congress of November 2008, which was conducted with the support of the Prince Claus Fund. Besides publishing Himal magazine, SaT has for the last decade organised the Film Southasia Festival of Documentaries (FSA). FSA is held every two years in Kathmandu. The festival showcases films on Southasian themes or subjects. The documentaries screened by FSA cover a range of subjects available to filmmakers: from people, culture, lifestyle and adventure to development, environment, politics, education and history. The only region-wide festival dedicated to the craft of non-fiction film, FSA is a platform for filmakers seeking to exhibit new works. In a region whose member states, particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, have enjoyed only sporadic cultural exchanges since Partition in 1947, all of SaT’s activities have the common goal of opening up cultural borders in Southasia. In the long term, this will have a direct impact on human security, on the betterment of living standards and in fostering “cultural confidence” within the individual societies of the region. In pursuing this goal, SaT has found a purely journalistic approach to be insufficient in exploring issues relevant to Southasians. There is today a real need in the region for social scientific research, especially in the arena of culture, and over a longer timeframe with more rigorous and specialised tools. It is with this in mind, and with the development of the Network Partnership, that the SaT has decided to establish the Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange; a separate unit which will function parallel to Himal and under the SaT umbrella. The goals of the Hri Institute are twofold: to conduct rigorous research in the much-neglected arena of culture and to forge connections between individuals and organisations working in Southasia’s far corners on cultural preservation, revival and innovation. Hri will inherit all the institutional memory, experience and networks garnered by Himal in over a decade of activities in the realm of culture. The Hri Institute will be the primary partner of the Prince Claus Fund during the course of the three-year Network Partnership. Period SaT network partner from the 15th of July 2010 till the 14th of July 2013. SaT receives the amount of 180.000 Euros for this period of three years. Website http://www.himalmag.com/ Tags: Network partner, Netwerkpartner, Kathmandu, Nepal, Asia, Azië, cultural exchange, culturele uitwisseling, journalism, journalistiek, film, festival