Two weeks back, when I asked my Facebook friends to post pictures of what they’ve been creating during the lockdown and Aayush Shrestha posted a video with a Kumari filter on, I didn’t realise he had actually been working on Instagram AR filters and was about to make them public.
The filter has now not only been published but has been getting a lot of attention – both in its favor and against it.
No wonder, a lot of people have been posting their pictures and videos with the filter on and are enjoying the new effect.
But nothing comes easy. With the appreciation, the filter has also been getting a lot of criticism, including from the father of the current Kumari as well, apparently.
Kumari le hami lai herera muskuraunu bhayo bhane tesko k artha lagxa thaxa? Kosaile yo filters use garera muskurayera photo halyo ani yo kura bishwas garne ra buda-paka le tesko photo dekhe kasto manasik asar parxa? Yeha cultural mahatwa nabujhi sabai lai kumari bannu xa.— Harry Duke (@harrydukehd1) May 3, 2020
Aayush; who is a computer engineer by profession but is more popular as a stand-up comic and content creator; took to Facebook earlier today to explain his intentions behind creating the filter. “I never thought I would have to make this video but after realizing that a lot of people’s sentiments have been hurt due to me or my work, I am making this video to tell my part and also apologize for any mistakes I might have made.”
“I’ve had always wanted to promote Nepal’s art and culture on the digital landscape, that is why I came up with the ‘Kumari’ filter. My intention to create this filter was to make sure our art and culture receive the appreciation and attention they deserve on global platform”, said the creator and host of popular YouTube show ‘Baaki Samachar’ in the 11-minute video.
“Even though I started it with a good intention, I never thought it will take shape of such a huge debate. It has started a good conversation about what are culture conservation and cultural diffusion.”
“While I was working on it, I showed it to a lot of people who have been actively working towards conserving Newa culture. They were glad about it.”
Aayush ends the video saying, “My intention was to protect and promote our culture which is not possible by arguing with each other online.” Here’s the full video.
In August last year, the Facebook-owned platform Spark AR Studio that lets one create filters for Instagram stories, was opened to the public — making it possible for anyone to create custom AR filters.
To get the ‘Kumari’ filter, you’ll have to visit Aayush’ Instagram page.
And then click on the new face icon (third icon from left) where you will see the filter.
Upon opening it, you’ll see an option to ‘try it’.
Alright, do tell me in the comments what you think of the filter and whether it’s offensive or not.
UPDATE: Aayush Shrestha has removed the filter.
Take great care of yourself and stay at home because you’r a hero.