By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, March 23: The Tibet Museum of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), Central Tibetan Administration located near the main temple in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala today hosted a photo exhibition titled, ‘Lithang, Kham: The Cradle of Tibetan Resistance’ highlighting the spirit of resistance and compassion of the Tibetan people in Lithang in the traditional Tibetan province of Kham.
Sonam Norbu Dagpo, Secretary of the DIIR, inaugurated the photo exhibition. The exhibition showcases a series of photographs taken by Sandra Dolani, a French-Italian filmmaker which highlights the spirit of resistance and compassion of the Tibetan people in Lithang.
Sandra Dolani has visited Tibet six times and Lithang four times from 2007- 2016 and she stated that she drew inspiration and found solace in the spirit and the compassion of the Tibetan people when many people were mascaraed by a terrorist attack at a concert in Bataclan in France in November 2015.
When Dolani visited Lithang for the first time in 2007, she said she knew nothing about Tibet but soon fell in love with the ‘proud and peaceful’ Tibetan people in the region and their spirit of resistance and compassion.
“But things have changed after 2008,” the filmmaker based in Rome said and added, “I saw Lithang when it was still a vintage typical Tibetan town; I saw it when the spirit of resistance was still alive. However, after 2008, the town inexorably changed and Lithang has now become a Chinese town in the middle of Kham.”
The filmmaker further added that people have changed after 2008 and the fire of resistance within them have been replaced by fear and people were fearful.
The filmmaker hopes that her photographs will bring the attention of the people of the world to the Tibetan issue. “It is my tribute to Tibet and it is my way of building a bridge between the western people and the Tibetan people, and the issue of Tibet,” she said.
Dolani concluded by saying that she can testify with her videos and photographs on the situation inside Tibet to the world.
The exhibition is a part of her main project titled ‘ONE’ which showcases the spirit of resistance and compassion across the world. Her project, ‘ONE’ will open with three films about Tibetan resistance – The Last Child: about pawo (Martyr) Dorjee Tsering and self-immolation, In the Name of the father: stories and points of view of many characters from and about Tibet, and Brothers: the message of Palden Gyatso to the next generation.