“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple; the philosophy is kindness.” – The Dalai Lama

But here is the big question that I struggle with in my ENEMIES work….

When kindness fails, and a people are oppressed for generations, what is the right path?

I met many Tibetan people who also struggle with this question. And in Kashmir, a land that is occupied by the country freed from oppression under the leadership of M. Ghandi, the people have a vast range of opinions about the question of how to respond to generations of oppression.  This is not a simple question.

Visiting Mass Graves in Kashmir. No names – just numbers. The guy who took us here was putting himself in serious danger. He had been arrested by the police and tortured for showing the site to foreigners the previous year.
“The Plastic Boys”, Maralal, Northern Kenya. Hilarious group of guys who ran a curio shop together in a tiny, out of the way town in northern Kenya. They were a mixed group from different tribes. We stopped here on the way back from visiting the border of the Samburu and Turkana tribes who have been in conflict for generations. It was super cool to see these guys all working together as friends.
Yak butter candles in the monastery of the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.

(Yak butter candles at the Dalai Lama’s monastery in Dharamsala, India)

These are all pieces of the same issue – how do we deal with conflict?  There is a huge amount to talk about here.  I’m putting some of my thoughts into visual work, which I’ll post more of as time goes on.  I’m giving my first TEDx talk next weekend in San Antonio on October 12th, but it will only cover some basic thoughts of my experiences with all this.  Today I’m applying for a TEDx in Kabul, a place I have been considering going this winter for ENEMIES.

More of my visual work coming soon…