By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, April 17: Documenting the first thirty years of Tibetans in exile, the Tibet Documentation today launched a photo journal titled “Exile” at Hotel Norbu House in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala.
The Tibet Documentation’s photo journal is aimed at documenting the early chapters of Tibetans in exile (1959-1989) in the form of photographs.
“Our main goal is to document the story of the survival of the early Tibetan refugees, the gradual rebuilding of their lives and the re-establishment of their cultural and religious institutions in exile,” Editor of the journal, Lobsang Gyatso Sither said in his address.
“We focused on this particular period (1959-1989) during which the foundations for the exile community were laid down. This was achieved through adversity before Tibet became a house hold name,” he added.
“I hope that this photo journal will help the younger generation of Tibetans to understand and appreciate the history and origins of the exile Tibetan community, and serve as a reminder to every Tibetan of the sacrifices made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the first generation of exiles,” Sither concluded.
Former Kalon (minister) Tenzin Gyeche and Gen Tenzin launched the journal, which highlights primarily on the evolution of important events during the early stages of the Tibetans in exile.
“Camera used to be a luxurious item and only elite few enjoyed photography in Tibet. Tibetans often believe being photographed reduces one’s life expectancy and takes a bad picture as a sign for misfortune. But a single photograph equals to 100 words in terms of expression,” Tashi Tsering Josayma, Tibetologist and Director of Amnye Machen Institute said in his address.
‘Exile’, the journal with 300 photographs was funded by the Genographic Legacy Fund at National Geographic Society. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was offered the first copy of the journal on March 28.
The Tibet Documentation was conceived by Tenzin N. Tethong and so far, Tibet documentation has digitized and archived over 40,000 photos.