McLeod Ganj – a town uphill from Dharamsala that houses much of the Tibetan community in the area.
I came to Dharamsala to meet up with my assistant, Alex, who was here volunteering at a school for Tibetan refugees. I got to Dharamsala by overnight bus from Delhi. When i got to the bus station it was a mob scene, so I randomly asked a nice looking guy to help me get a ticket. He turned out to be a member of the Indian Border Patrol – a pretty good connection to have here.
After getting here I realized that this is a good place to look at the Tibetan-Chinese conflict. I want to include this conflict in ENEMIES, but I don’t know how to do it. I’ve been told that I can get a visa to go to Tibet and that photographing people there shouldn’t be a problem. But I am worried that my work will be too controlled by the Chinese government. This conflict is still so hot. In March of this year another Tibetan monk self immolated (set himself on fire) in New Delhi. It’s a gruesome form of protest. In the past 5 years 38 monks have set themselves on fire in protest of the Chinese rule of Tibet. Last night Alex and I went to a performance at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts that was put on to honor and remember those monks.