WHAT IS HARIYO CHOWK?
In Nepal, a chowk is a public square or courtyard. Chowks are community spaces and social hubs, centers of activity where goods and ideas are exchanged. Over this spring and summer, Sattya Media Arts Collective is setting out to transform our courtyard space into a modern adaptation of the traditional chowk – Hariyo Chowk, a ‘green square’ that will be a space to share art and knowledge about sustainable living.
WHY DO WE NEED HARIYO CHOWK?
As Kathmandu rapidly urbanizes, there are fewer and fewer green spaces left in a city that was not very long ago known for its strong tradition of urban farming. Building on this tradition, Hariyo Chowk will be a place to experiment, demonstrate and educate about topics like organic gardening, composting, recycling, building with natural materials, and simple low-impact technologies. In addition, it will also be a much-needed gathering and exhibition space for artists and the community.
Our space is a 40 x 45 ft. plot of land just outside the Sattya building in Jawalakhel, a lively, fast-evolving Kathmandu neighborhood. In 5 months (April – August 2012), we will create:
- An outdoor pavilion, built affordably and sustainably with recycled and natural materials. Here, people can gather to exhibit creative projects, hold workshops, and plan new initiatives.
- An organic garden, where vegetables, fruit, herbs and medicinal plants will be grown by and for those who care for the space. We will be using many innovative techniques such as raised bed gardening, vertical gardening, food forest gardening and more.
- A composting area to manage our food waste and produce fertilizer for the garden
- A workshop area for arts and fabrication
- A rainwater collection system that will reduce our reliance on city water
- A sunken fire pit for outdoor gatherings on chilly nights
- A pizza oven made out of mud bricks
- And more features to make the space useful, artistic, and vibrant!