Home Institution

University of Redlands

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


In recent years street art has become a popular platform for activism and social commentary in Kathmandu. Both local Nepalis and visiting foreign artists have transformed the streets of the city into their new canvas for art and changemaking. The effectiveness of this unique intersection of art and activism has narrowly been examined through an academic lens. This research intends to understand the specific intentions of street artists and their art in Kathmandu. The effectiveness of this street art as a platform for social change is measured in this research through qualitative interviews and observational techniques. Analysis of the dynamics between the artists’ intentions and the potential reach of their art is used to gauge the impact of street art as a tool for activism. Collaboration between artists and their ideas, audiences, and mediums seems to be the way in which art can successfully act as a tool for change. The lack of this collaboration amongst activist based street art in Kathmandu (i.e. coming from an individual artist and the personal perspective of that artist) results in the art being less relatable for a viewer and thus less effective in terms of activism.


Arts and Humanities | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Politics and Social Change | Sociology of Culture


Article Location