17 Powerful Photographs That Show The History Of Discrimination Against “Untouchables"

The images are part of the exhibition at an international photo festival that begins in Nepal on Friday.

An exhibition called Dalit: A Quest for Dignity has opened in Nepal, featuring powerful photos and testimonies that document the experiences of the Nepali Dalits, who are considered the country's lowest caste. Dalits, previously known as "untouchables," face discrimination in their social and working lives.

The exhibition is part of Photo KTM, a two-week international photo festival that begins in Kathmandu on Friday. Unlike most photo exhibitions, Photo KTM aims to be unique by using the streets and alleys of the historic town of Patan as its gallery space; organizers say work by artists from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Cambodia among others will be displayed on walls along the streets that were damaged by last year's earthquake.

Curator Diwas Raja KC said it is important to accurately record the history of Dalits. “Records are typically tools of oppression, techniques of power," he said. "They are means by which the rich have exploited the poor and the powerful have dominated the powerless."

The images below, provided exclusively to BuzzFeed News, show a collection of photos and stories from the exhibition, including details of the segregation of drinking water, debts between castes, and the suspected murder of a man who eloped with a young woman from a different caste.

Kathmandu, 1963

Kailali, 2007

Bajhang, 1989

Mahottari, 2016

Doti, 2007

Kaski, 1977

Okhaldhunga, 1970

Gulmi, 1966

Parsa, c.1966–68

Bhojpur, 1964

Gulmi, 1966

Doti, 2007

Kathmandu, 1963

Delhi, c.1970

Kathmandu, 2015

Bardiya, 2009

Dhading, 2016

Dalit: A Quest for Dignity runs until November 26 as part of Photo KTM in Patan, Nepal.

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