Alappuzha: The Tibet Museum of the Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, in association with Friends of Tibet (FoT) showcased an exhibition “A Long Look Homeward” at the Centre for Social and Political Arts (CSPA), Alappuzha, Kerala, for three days from March 3-5, 2016.
The exhibition comprising of photos and artefacts brings to light Tibet’s recent history featuring photographic narratives of the Tibet before Chinese occupation, results of the Chinese occupation, Tibet Today and the journey of the nation now in exile. While the exhibition of artefacts display the Zenith Royal 1000-1 Wavemangnet Transistor Radio used by H.H the XIV Dalai Lama in Tibet and in exile; coins and currencies of independent Tibet, the first Tibetan Passport used by Tsepon Shakabpa, the 1934 September edition of the National Geographic magazine carrying the image of the Tibetan National Flag in the ‘National Flags of the World’, Chairman Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’, and a uniform adorned by the Chinese soldiers during the invasion of Tibet.
The inauguration of the exhibition was started with a minute of silence as a mark of respect to Dorjee Tsering, a 16 year old Tibetan boy from Mussoorie Tibetan School, who self-immolated to protest against the Chinese government’s repression in Tibet and highlight the Tibet issue. Traditional Tibetan butter lamps were lit by five Tibet supporters and the whole atmosphere was filled with support for the Tibetan cause. This was followed by Tibetan Universal Peace Prayer sung by the team from Men-Tsee-Khang Bangalore. Sylvie Bantle, acclaimed German Writer and Theatre Artiste welcomed the gathering. She opined how important it is to have healthy roots back to our land, our religion, our memories and culture which would enable one to stand with strong legs on a strong ground.
Later, P. Sreekumar, a Tibet supporter from Kochi shared his experience about his journey to Kailash Mansarovar and gave a first-hand experience of the human rights violation inside Tibet and how the ordinary Tibetans are forced to beg in their own land, leading a miserable life, and how their voices are crushed and silenced. Poet and Friends of Tibet Campaigner Eswar Anandan introduced the theme of ‘A Long Look Homeward’ to the audience. He dedicated his poem ‘Flames of Truth’ which was written a year back when a 20-year old Tibetan girl had self-immolated.
The exhibition was well attended by people from various walks of life who came from the length and breadth of the state. It was a unique experience for the general public in the local neighbourhood who got a chance to experience the Tibetan history, which was often misrepresented. Journalists from leading newspapers, local and national arrived to cover the event. Reports about the event appeared in the local edition of the leading Malayalam newspapers and is being reported in the national edition of a popular English Newspaper.
“A Long Look Homeward” exhibition will later travel to Thiruvanthapuram, Kochi and Calicut before it moves to others states of India.