Film Clips and Trailers
From The tibetan Photo Project on Youtube - this updates automatically
With the delivery of the final cut of "Voices
in Exile" by Wangden from Dharamsala, it has become a very
busy time. The film opened the gala night at the National Tibetan
Film Festival in Melbourne, Australia and the Northern California
premiere was a sell out in Mendocino.
northern California opening did what the project is designed to
do - create a vehicle to tell Tibet's story through press coverage.
The opening received half page coverage in the Fort Bragg Advocate
and the Mendocino Beacon.
southern California, Antelope Valley Press City Editor wrote the
review that appears below. This review has really thrown the doors
open. Screenings are now in the works with the DVD in the mail by
request to France, England, New Zealand, Alaska, Washington State,
The San Francisco Bay Area, England, Michigan and North Carolina.
month, we are presenting the full text of Shoaf's review as the
update on the progress of The Tibetan Photo Project and the release
of Voices in Exile.
echo from Tibet
By Norman Shoaf City Editor,
Antelope Valley Press Southern California
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Wedding Crashers,"
"Fantastic Four" and other blockbusters burning up the
box office this summer, I will let you in on a little secret: "Voices
in Exile," which chronicles the struggle of the Tibetan people
for their culture and for their very lives, is the most important
film you can see this year.
1949, when China invaded Tibet, Chinese policies have caused the
deaths of 1.2 million Tibetans -one-sixth of the population -through
execution, imprisonment, starvation and forced labor.
150,000 Tibetans have risked their lives to leave their country
and set up a community in exile under the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet
for India in 1959.
in Exile" was directed, edited and narrated by Tenzin Wangden
Andrugtsang, who served as a secretary in the Dalai Lama's office,
under the auspices of the Tibetan Photo Project.
Mickey, a Northern California photographer and all-around good guy,
found his calling about five years ago in encouraging exiled Tibetans
to use donated, disposable cameras to capture glimpses of their
lives; he then published the photos in every way his "begging
bowl" budget allowed, on the Web, at galleries and elsewhere.
has exhibited his growing stock of recent images, plus donated collections
of vintage photos of Tibet from decades past, around the United
States, including a stunning show earlier this year at Antioch University
in Los Angeles.
can easily linger for quite some time over the rich variety of intimate
views of Tibetan life in exile at www.tibetanphotoproject.com.
got a professional movie camera into the hands of Wangden, who set
out to capture the history and current progress of Tibet's struggle
result is a mini-masterpiece that should move anyone with an interest
in history, sociology, international events, religion (Tibetan Buddhism
informs so much of the refugees' purpose and motivation) or basic
persons can scarce come away from viewing "Voices in Exile"
without being deeply affected.
film frankly details China's rape of Tibet, though most of its images
are suitable for all but the youngest children. But the heart of
the film centers around interviews with the exiled Tibetans themselves.
debate their place and purpose in the world; they appreciate help
from other nations but disparage patronization; they wrestle with
the conflict between Buddhism's path of nonviolent resistance and
ongoing, unchecked Chinese brutality.
enjoyed its world premiere recently at Centenary College in Shreveport,
La., where Wangden and Mickey met face to face for the first time.
Mickey told me the first question they heard from viewers was, "Why
haven't we been told about what China has done to Tibet? This is
when we knew we were making progress," Mickey said of the film
and of the efforts of the Tibetan Photo Project.
the exhibition of photos was about to close in Shreveport, Mickey
offered the collection to other venues. A display would certainly
put any gallery on the international map. I let the folks at Antelope
Valley College know that the photos were available, basically for
the asking, but heard nothing back. Not enough interest in our community,
July 8, "Voices
in Exile" opened the National Tibetan Film Festival at the
world-class Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne.
Australian senator Lyn Allison noted: "This is an interesting
time in Australia's relations with China but, disappointingly, there
is little evidence that human rights abuses in Tibet have been raised
in our talks on a free-trade agreement...Tibetans are still being
imprisoned and exploited, and there is little sign that China will
even consider the autonomy offer put up by His Holiness, the Dalai
long, one wonders, will Uncle Sam continue to cozy up to China's
rapacious dictators in the face of their continued atrocities?
West has a great deal to learn from the experience of the Tibetan
community," Mickey said. "The perspective provided from
the modern history of Tibet and China reveals a great deal about
the nature of China's future leadership."
lessons have become even more relevant with the rise to power of
Hu Jintao, China's former hard-line secretary to Tibet."
"Voices in Exile," Mickey said, "It is crucial to
the survival of the Tibetan culture that the Tibetans find new ways
to keep telling the world about their tragedy, and this effort,
in some small way, hopes to add to the continuation of the voice
from the Tibetans."
2005-New worth noteing-Dalai
Lama awarded peace prize 27 July 2005
Dalai Lama was awarded a peace prize by the German state of Hesse
overnight "for his policy of non-aggression towards China", the
Dalai Lama received the prize in person on the second day of a three-day
visit to Germany. The president of the foundation which awards the
prize, Karl Starzacher, said "more than ever it is now up to the
goodwill of Beijing" to start negotiations with Tibet.
Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese
rule and he is seen by the Chinese authorities as a separatist threat.
winners of the Hesse peace prize include the former chief UN weapons
inspector Hans Blix and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Update On July 23, 2005 we will proudly host the first
public showing of the new film produced in association with The
Tibetan Photo Project, "Voices in Exile" by Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang.
Click here to get details.
Tibetan Photo Project came about during the 2000 Mendocino Music
Festival, which hosted a cultural exhibition by Tibetan monks. North
Coast photographer Joe Mickey discovered a sponsorship program for
a monk, Jamyang Norbu living in exile in India. With his first correspondence
to the Drepung monastery located in southwest India, Mickey sent
two disposable cameras.
returned the camera along with a note telling Mickey not to expect
much as the monk said, "I do not know what to photograph as
we have no culture based on photography."
when Mickey developed the film he found beautiful glimpses into
the every day lives of the Buddhist monks. He immediately sent six
more cameras. Mickey also began giving local lectures and slide shows
of the images.
the project has struggled. Mickey describes the financial situation,
"Last year about this time, it was a $100 donation from Latvia
and one from Canada, along with a couple of $10 bills in envelopes
that kept the project on the Web. This year things are better. This
year, with a film in the works and two major exhibits, we still
have a very tight budget but we are starting to reach several goals."
and Universities offer support In April, 2005, at the invitation
of Remington College, Sazzy Varga, co-founder of The Tibetan Photo
Project, presented a slide show and lecture to introduce the project
to the San Diego area. 125 students and teachers attend her premiere
an invitation from Colorado College to lecture in Colorado Springs
in Sept. 2003, Mickey began work on the project full time. In the
Springs he was able to add five venues including the University
of Colorado. Over 400 attended the lectures and slide shows
was added to his research on Tibet and the modern-day leadership
in China when the Website for the Asia Studies Center at Harvard
posted a photo of the Dalai Lama and a link to Mickey's research
on the center's Homepage to announce a visit to the University by
his holiness, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Feb. 27, 2005 in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Meadows Museum at Centenary
College opened a major exhibit of the photos. In association with
the show, 4 months of special events, including cultural performances
by Tibetan monks have been scheduled. The exhibit has been in planning
for a year and as part of the effort, Director Diane Dufilho has
spent nearly the same amount of time to help secure a visa for Tenzin
Wangden to come to Shreveport to lecture and to edit a film being
produced with financing from Mickey in association with The Tibetan
does Mickey think there is so much support from the colleges and
universities? "Given that my lectures are not on Tibetan Buddhism,
but, on the lessons the West can learn about the brutal nature of
China's current leadership through Tibet's modern history, there
is a recognition that China, in the long run, will be the greatest
challenge to the West in economics, security and to freedom everywhere.
Its important that this and the next generation get a better understanding
of China's political nature and Tibet's history offers the blueprint."
The Web has been important to the project. "The Web is relatively
low cost, and opens us up to a world wide audience, but we would
not be there if not for the tireless website work, of co-founder
Sazzy Varga." said Mickey who also works constantly to create
Web links that introduce people to the plight of the Tibetans through
their photography. "We are linked by most of the major Tibetan
organizations and the Tibetan government in exile," says Mickey,
"but I am always looking for ways to find people who are not
part of the 'Save Tibet' choir." To that end, the project has
received links from photographers, magazines, models and even surfing
Google search for the phrase "The Tibetan Photo Project"
yields 141,000 listings.
shows us linked to over 1,400 sites a and many others make mentions
of the project." A quick look at the first few pages of Google
listings showed the project is linked to a wide variety ranging
from the Beastie Boys (who sponsor an annual Free Tibet concert),
to a BBC Website thanks to the help of Canadian Web wizard John
Kittridge, to a foundation site for Ghandi, to the History Channel
discussion board, to the University of Virginia Library online,
The Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library, to Go-surfer.com
With Mickey as the producer, Tenzin Wangden began filming for "Voices
in Exile" in the fall of 2004. "We knew from the beginning,"
said Mickey, "that still photos would have to evolve into motion
pictures. We just had to find the money and the right Tibetan to
do the first film. We set it all up with Wangden through e-mail
and some very complicated wire transfers for the funds."
beginning production, Mickey checked in with local filmmaker Paul
Kraus for technical advise. Kraus had done special effects modeling
for productions including Indiana Jones, Star Trek and Silent Running.
also makes documentaries ("The Shape Makers" and the upcoming
"The Uke Makers"), "said Mickey, "and had already
gone through the learning curve on equipment and editing programs.
He has been very generous with us and helped us avoid a lot of expensive
pitfalls when we were putting together the equipment for Wangden's
is a second-generation Tibetan living in exile in Dharamsala, India.
He is a former secretary in the office of the Dalai Lama, a teacher
and he and his wife are lifelong activists for Tibetan causes.
the film's producer, Mickey has been insistent that this be a film
of Wangden's design, and consistent with the philosophy of the project,
without Western direction. Wangden has collected about 15 hours
of footage and interviews that he will edited down to a 1 to 1.5
hour DVD. "Thanks to Paul's technical advice, we will also
have a film we can project in theaters" said Mickey.
work-in-progress version that was shown in Louisiana premiered on
the West Coast at the Senior Center in Mickey's hometown of in Fort
Bragg. Sixty people from the community of 5,000 attended and the
showing received a half page black and white article in the Fort
Bragg Advocate News.
Mickey provided the tools for Wangden to edit his film at his home
in northern India, as luck would have it, Centenary College's film
department provided Wangden with an advanced editing bay and a technical
assistant. Mickey flew to Louisiana and met Wangden face to face
for the first time when "Voices in Exile" premiered as
a work-in-progress at the museum for the opening in Shreveport.
Mickey is also taking orders for this version of the DVD.
lot of what has happened for the project has been serendipitous,"
said Mickey. "We always knew we would evolve to film in motion
but if you would have asked me in the beginning if there would be
a Tibetan editing his film in the Deep South?...Well I would have
imagined Berkeley but not Shreveport, Louisiana. I think it speaks
well of the universal concern for the survival of the Tibetan people
and their culture as well as an important growing concern for understanding
By the time Mickey had received the first eight rolls of images
from the Norbu at Drepung, film director and actress Sazzy Lee Varga
had set up a Website. A donation of 50 cameras followed from Daniel
Carp, CEO of Eastman Kodak and the press began to take notice. The
Advocate and the Beacon were followed by the Lake County Record-Bee
and the Willits News. San Francisco Chronicle Art Critic Kenneth
Baker was quick to realize this new photographic perspective of
the Tibetans and in 2002, Parade Magazine introduced the project
to 16 million readers.
a voice that comes directly from the Tibetans has always been one
of the main goals of the project," Mickey explained. "Through
the project, the combined circulation in print is over 23 million
that has told some portion of Tibet's tragedy being created by China's
ongoing human and cultural genocide."
every lecture and exhibit opening, the press has paid very close
attention and the variety of print media range from local and major
regional newspapers to yoga magazines, new age magazines and National
art, news, entertainment and photo publications. There is a complete
list of published article on the media coverage link at www.tibetanphotoproject.com
in from India and almost before he could get over his jet-lag, The
Shreveport-Times (Circulation 67K weekdays and 82K Sundays) had
spent two days in interviews and photo sessions with Wangden to
discuss his film and the Meadow's exhibit for a feature story.
got my first call from the Los Angeles press,said Mickey,
"about two weeks before the exhibit opened at Antioch opened
in Los Angeles from the L.A. Weekly where 215,000 readers gained
some awareness about Tibet in exile because of the photos by the
the Los Angeles opening, Mickey sent press packets to 42 publications
in the Los Angeles area. He sent 30 into the area surrounding Shreveport.
"I rarely get calls, most just run photos and text from the
discs, so I never know how many people we will reach." says
Mickey, "The important thing is to create something that does reach
them and then when we are really lucky when it also touches their
hearts. Where we can, we also try to point out that it is important
for Western consumers and investors to reconsider their relationship
with the 'made-in-China' label."
The press packets have also generated radio interviews, Mickey did
an 8-minute interview with a Canadian version of an NPR station
that was circulated to other stations via the Internet. He as been
the guest twice on talk-radio in Tennessee in association with a
program produced by the publisher of The Modern Tribune.
goals As it enters its fifth year, the project has reached several
goals. Mickey says he still has a few more to work towards. "This
project is a natural for a book publisher, we hope to produce more
films and get those into theaters and on more TV. If we can find
a retail landlord who is willing to be creative, there will be a
gallery or toasting that helps the Tibetans and helps the West
understand the dangers of China rising under the current dictatorship."
are being made for that exhibit to travel to Antioch's other campus
locations in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Seattle. On March 10, Wangden
will return to Dharamsala, India where he will finish the film.
To keep up with developments, The Tibetan Photo Project co-founder
Sazzy Lee Varga posts regular updates on the Website at www.tibetanphotoproject.com
and Mickey said we would like to hear from people who would be interested
in hosting home DVD presentations with Q&A sessions.
With the opening in Shreveport we went statewide on Louisiana PBS
with a 4-minute interview segment.
April 11, 2005 The
Tibetan Photo Project at
Sideshow-lecture entitled: The Tibetan Photo Project with Sazzy
Lee Varga, celebrity and co-founder of the - The Pacific Church-San Diego, CA Lecture
8:30pm. See galley for images from the
April 3-2005 The Tibetan Photo Project at
The Meadows Museum at Centenary College. Slide show-lecture entitled: The Tibetan Photo Project with Joe Mickey, photojournalist
and co-founder of the Tibetan Photo Project 2:00-3:00 p.m. See
galley from images for the show.
and March 2005
The Meadows Museum at Centenary College presents The Tibetan Photo
27th through May 29th, 2005 Shreveport, Louisiana
2000, The Tibetan Photo Project got its start when North Coast photographer
Joe Mickey sent the first disposable camera to a Tibetan monk living
in exile at the Drepung monastery in southern India. Co-founder
Sazzy Varga made it possible for the project to go on the Web.
in its fifth year, photos taken for the project by a small team
of Tibetans photographers are creating a growing voice for their
exile community. Through media coverage of The Tibetan Photo Project,
some portion of the story of Chinese government's policies of human
and cultural genocide inflicted on the Tibetans has been told to
millions in regional and national print, via Internet links and
through public radio interviews in the US and Canada.
to Mickey, the ability of the Tibetan's images to attract attention
is increasing in volume with a traveling gallery exhibit created
by Lynn Holly for Antioch University's campus locations in Santa
Barbara and Los Angeles. Antioch is also making plans to tour the
exhibit at up to four more campus locations across the U.S.
up the volume even higher is the extensive exhibit and program schedule
created by Diane Dufilho, director of the Meadows Museum at Centenary
College in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Feb. 26, after a year and a half of preparation, the Meadows Museum
opened its doors on The Tibetan Photo Project. To highlight the
photos by the exiled Tibetans, the walls of the entire first-floor
gallery have been painted to match the yellow of the robes worn
by Tibetan monks. On the second floor, a gallery and hallway are
also filled with images.
has balanced the photo exhibit with Tibetan artifacts, paintings
and hands-on exhibits of prayer wheels, a singing bowl and monks
bell. In early April, the Meadows will host Tibetan monks who will
spend four days creating a sand mandala and in late April, the monks
will give a cultural performance in the 1700 seat landmark Strand
coincide with the exhibit, which runs through May, Dufilho's museum
staff has created a series of community outreach programs and scheduled
a number of lectures in high schools and at the museum as well as
initiated a citywide essay program open to high school students
on the topic of Tibet. Fifty students will earn tickets to the cultural
the museum, a team of 20 volunteer docents have undergone extensive
training to answer questions from visitors. The Shreveport Times
(Circulation 80,000-plus) has given generous coverage to the Tibetan
struggle and the project in its art section.
flew to Shreveport for the opening and also for his first face to
face meeting with Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang, one of the Tibetan
photographers he has been corresponding with and supplying cameras
to for the past four years. In the past year, Mickey took on the
role of producer for Wangden's documentary film "Voices in Exile."
Working with technical advice from Fort Bragg Filmmaker Paul Kraus,
Mickey supplied Wangden with a video camera and computer editing
equipment in northern India where he has been filming. "It is a
natural evolution of the project to put the images in motion," said
Mickey, "and now people can literally hear the voice of the Tibetans
on a variety of issues."
making arrangements for Wangden's visa to America, Centenary and
the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities offered technical support
for the editing process through the school's film program.
their first meeting, Wangden also outlined a new program being created
by Centenary that will bring three Tibetan students from India every
year so they can receive a full college education.
Feb. 27, projecting from the gallery filled with photos by Tibetans
and Tibetans cultural artifacts, Wangden and Mickey were able to
present a 40-minute premiere of a work-in-progress to a standing-room-only
crowd of Wangden's film.
following day, media coverage went statewide when Wangden, Mickey
and Dufilho were interviewed for a segment of the Louisiana television
broadcast of the popular "State of Louisiana" program.
the interview, Mickey and Wangden took turns restating information
from their lectures, "Every time the media reports that the Chinese
have killed one-sixth of the Tibetan population and that they continue
to follow policies bent on destroying Tibet's culture, it grows
the voice and it speaks to the power of a single frame of film."
In this interview, another exciting development was announced, "And
now, thanks to the introductions at Centenary created by the photography,
there is a new educational opportunity available to some Tibetan
youth with a program that will bring promising students to the U.S.
for a college education at Centenary."
Mickey sees it, "I haven't had any money to pursue this project,
but when you see how it continues to develop, it is testimony to
the power of every frame of film and the potential photography holds
to give voice and opportunity to people who otherwise would have
what does he see as the next goal? "Our deal with the Meadows is
that we get the framed prints when the show closes, so we need to
find the next venue for the exhibit. We have come this far with
little financial support...we find our way, like monks with begging
is planning a North Coast premiere of the 40-minute work-in-progress
version of "Voices in Exile." He will return to Louisiana for a
week of lectures at the beginning of April. Antioch University in
Los Angeles will finish the spring semester with the Tibetan Photo
Project. Arrangements are being made to open the exhibit in the
fall in Ohio. On March 10, Wangden will return to Dharamsala, India
where he will finish the film. To keep up with developments.
Tibetan Photo Project co-founder Sazzy Lee Varga posts regular updates
on the Website at www.tibetanphotoproject.com and plans a lecture
and slide show presentation in the San Diego area in April, 11th
2005 to be held at Remington College 123 Camino De La Reina San
Diego, CA 92108 Suite 100 at 8:30pm.
January 2005 The opening of the Tibetan Photo Project in
Los Angeles was a huge success. College students from Antioch and
surrounding campuses, faculty, and even Hollywood directors turned
out for the opening. Both founders; Joe Mickey and Sazzy Lee Varga
where in attendance, and Joe gave a 1 1/2 hour slide show presentation
along with Q and A. A wonderful Indian Buffet along with several
choice wines where also enjoyed. If you missed the opening it is
not to late to see the show, as it will run at the Antioch LA Campus
until April 29, 2005
you again for your visits and efforts of support. Please continue
to tell your friends, gallery owners, museum directors, editors
and media news directors to look in on The Tibetan Photo Project.
and Respectfully, Joe Mickey and Sazzy Varga, Founders
is growing in influence on the world stage. For several years it
has been increasing its military spending at a rate that is over
twice the growth rate of its economy. The next leader in China is
likely to be Hu Jintao. His political rise, is due in large part
to his implementing and maintaining of a brutal hard-line policy
during his term overseeing China's control of Tibet.
are many wonderful works that look at Tibet from the outside. The
Tibetan Photo Project is designed to provide a voice to the Tibetans
by exhibiting their views through their own works of photography.
Their vantage point on China and their experiences in Tibet and
in exile are extremely relevant to anyone trying to understand the
geopolitical, military and economic designs of China in the future.
The intent is to provide a view through the eyes of the Tibetan
community, create a vehicle that provides an elementary introduction
and links you to further study and understanding while giving a
personal voice to the Tibetans that participate in this project.
Because of its unique perspective, the project which began in 2000,
is also catching the eye of the art world with write ups by art
columnist Kenneth Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 5,
2002), the June 2002 edition of Art & Antiques Magazine and the
Santa Barbara art and culture magazine, Head.
feel free to contact us about a slide show presentation and gallery
exhibitions and prints. Thank you for stopping by the Tibetan Photo
Project. We hope you will return often, tell your friends and please
be sure to explore the links.
images are Copyright 2000-2014, Joe Mickey, Sazzy Varga and the Tibetan Photo
Project and may not be published without permission. While you
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