The story of modern Nepal is about the struggle between a rigidly traditional monarchy and the repeated attempts of the people to create a lasting revolution.
The Shah dynasty ruled Nepal for 238 years, their power enshrined in the belief that the kings were the reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Copying communist strategy from the history books, Maoist revolutionaries seized control of remote rural areas and provoked waves of government repression.
As violence and human rights abuses escalated across the country, popular outrage boiled over and lead to violent protests in the streets of Kathmandu. Protesters threatened to overrun the palace until King Gyanendra released his grip on absolute
power in April 2006.

With the monarchy diminished, the Maoists agreed to put down their guns and participate in the elections. One way or another, they promise that Nepal will have its revolution.


Nepal, 2005
A Maoist rebel soldier wearing a Britney Spears t-shirt stands among a batallion of other soldiers of the People's Liberation Army, First Brigade, Mid Division during a drill in a schoolyard in the village of Gairigaon, Nepal
© Tomas Van Houtryve


Tomas van Houtryve has photographed some of the most inaccessible places on earth, from North Korea to Guantanamo Bay to rebel camps in the jungles of Laos. His most passionate work comes from Nepal, where he studied as a philosophy student in 1997. He has been returning ever since to document the conflict between Maoist revolutionaries and the Hindu monarchy. He is the recipient of numerous honors including the Perpignan-Visa pour l'Image Young Photographer Award, the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents, and 2nd Place POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year.

2008 - Magazine Photographer of the Year
2008 - Pictures of the Year International
2007 - Pictures of the Year International
2007 - NPPA's Besto of Photojournalism
2007 - Amnesty Annual Human Right Press
2006 - Visa pour l'Image, Perpignan Young Photographer
2006 - Bayeux Prize for War correspondent
2006 - Pictures of the Year International
2006 - Days Japan International Photojournalism

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