The New York Times today, via Agence France Presse reported this:
DHARMSALA, India, Feb. 11 — Indian police beat back a group of 80 Tibetans Wednesday as they started a monthlong march through India to commemorate the day in 1959 when Chinese troops broke up demonstrations in Lhasa set off by rumors about risks to the Dalai Lama.
The police failed to stop the march when it set off from Macleodganj, where the Dalai Lama lives, but beat back the group with sticks after they continued two miles to Dharmsala.
The march, which organizers said would restart Thursday, is due to culminate in New Delhi on March 10.
Beating back a peaceful march. Ironic ain’t it in the land of Mahatma Gandhi?
Speaking of Tibet, yesterday I came across The Tibetan Photo Project.
All images are Copyright 2003, Joe Mickey and the Tibetan Photo Project and may not be published without permission.
Photographer and coordinator of the project, Joe Mickey writes:
I have been a photographer for over 30 years and I immediately began to package up point-and-shoot cameras and added the basics rules of good photography to my letters. From Jam Yang Norbu I learned that the camera was a new concept for Tibetans dedicated to rebuilding and preserving their culture.
The first roll of photos was processed in India and I received a set of prints. From the start, Jam Yang Norbu and his friends paid great attention to the basic lessons in photography and produced a series of well-lit but posed images.
On the receiving end, this was still, nothing less than a magic view into another world. More importantly, the view was not being provided by an outsider looking in through a lens and preconceived notions. I was being given the vantage point from the inside.
I immediately sent a small flood of cameras and film and in correspondence we discussed how photography could be used as a tool in their efforts to preserve Tibetan culture if he could record his friends living that culture on film. Again, the monks have paid very good attention and I have been given the gift of rare glimpses into the lives of some of the 2,500 monks of the Drepung Monastery.
What has been revealed in the photos and the letters is a dedicated group of men living and struggling and very often laughing through lives that have very few needs or desires. They work with complete dedication to preserve the best of Tibetan culture.
As the Image Editor of InTheFray.com, I have to tell you about a wonderful black & white photo essay that has just been published. Jennifer Warren, a photographer and Tara Plochocki, Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor for Emory University’s Tibetan Studies Program in Dharamsala, India put together a photo essay shot by exiled Tibetans. The 9-10-3 project, as it is called give us a somewhat stark look at a people robbed of their land but not their identity.
From the introduction to the project:
“The stains and scars of the past are covered up by brightly colored prayer flags, and relegated to pieces of literature that the tourists pick up, skim, and shake their head in disbelief upon completion. There are a number of places where the memories ooze out in a somewhat unmarketable way, but for the most part, Dharamsala triumphantly celebrates the Tibetan culture while swaddling the dehumanizing memories in the folds of their robes and tucks of their chubas.”