Their Burning Bodies Told Histories Never Forgotten

© 2013 Dlo08

[A Readers Guide:I know that not everyone has time to read this long piece but I thought I would make this an easier read by giving a short guide. I acknowledge that my piece is approached by different audiences and to make it a quicker and easier read I’ve decided to make this guide to help those different audiences. I’ve included each paragraph with a number so my instructions will include the number of the paragraphs and section names. I hope this helps. However, to all readers, one quick way of skimming is to skip any long quotes written within each paragraph.

Tibetan readers: read paragraphs 1, skip 2, and continue from 3-4. 5 & 6 is optional. Skip the first half (from paragraph 7—20 since I feel most Tibetans already understand and know that section). Read from “Genealogies of Loss” to the end (paragraphs…

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The Art of (China’s) Colonialism: Constructing Invisibilities in (Tibetan) History and Geography

© 2012 Dlo08

(FOR READERS: I’ve defined the following terminologies to smooth out the read:

Assumption: Representation.

Invisibility: Erasure: Silences.

Formation: as how things are formed

Discourse: narrative: discursive: polemics: writings: texts: as the mediums in which the conqueror, narrates the story of their conquest and the people they conquered, in the way they like to imagine themselves, to themselves.

Colonizer: Oppressor: Conqueror: Aggressor:  as the governance or group that is exerting power on another group.

The Orient: Colonized: Oppressed: Conquered:  as the group that the governance or more powerful group is exerting power on.)

What does an ethnographic discourse on the invisibility of a colonial empire in the 21st century look like? What does that invisibility contribute to, or rather take away from, the experiences of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet? In this post, I examine the historical and contemporary discourses on Tibet that frame Tibet as either

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Experimenting with Modernity, the Tibetan way

© 2013 Dlo08

A few nights ago I attended the talk “Ways of Knowing the Body in Buddhist Tantra and Tibetan Medicine” by Janet Gyatso, a prominent and innovative scholar of Tibetan Buddhism. Gyatso mentioned that the talk she had prepared for us is pulled from one of the chapters from her upcoming book Being Human in a Buddhist World: Towards an Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet published by Columbia University Press set to release next year.

Aside from visiting a Tibetan doctor maybe several times in my life and having some friends studying in the field, my knowledge on Tibetan medicine has always been minimal. However, Gyatso’s talk wasn’t necessarily on the specifics of Tibetan medicine, she explores the social, cultural and political climate of the time frame she covers to understand the complexities involving the Tibetan society, demonstrating, what I call, Tibetan…

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Resilience & Fortitude: Tibet Movement through the youngest Tibetan woman parliamentarian

© 2013 Dlo08

I met Dhardon la briefly in Dharamsala during the 2008 Uprisings in Tibet. She was part of the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA). At the time, things were so hectic and busy that I didn’t have much of a chance to get to know her well. In 2010, during the Kalon Tripa elections, I attended an event where supporters of each candidate were able to debate one another on the merits of their chosen candidate. Dhardon la was speaking in favor of T.N. Tethong. Previous to this engagement, I had never heard her speak, so this was my first time hearing her.

That day, I was standing in the very back with some friends in a packed room. When I scanned the room, I noticed that the majority of the audience there were men and it seemed like it was going to be a tough crowd. Each speaker…

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The Art of (China’s) Colonialism: Constructing Invisibilities in (Tibetan) History and Geography

© 2012 Dlo08

(FOR READERS: I’ve defined the following terminologies to smooth out the read:

Assumption: Representation.

Invisibility: Erasure: Silences.

Formation: as how things are formed

Discourse: narrative: discursive: polemics: writings: texts: as the mediums in which the conqueror, narrates the story of their conquest and the people they conquered, in the way they like to imagine themselves, to themselves.

Colonizer: Oppressor: Conqueror: Aggressor:  as the governance or group that is exerting power on another group.

The Orient: Colonized: Oppressed: Conquered:  as the group that the governance or more powerful group is exerting power on.)

What does an ethnographic discourse on the invisibility of a colonial empire in the 21st century look like? What does that invisibility contribute to, or rather take away from, the experiences of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet? In this post, I examine the historical and contemporary discourses on Tibet that frame Tibet as either

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Non-Refugee Refugees: Tibetans’ Struggles for Visibility in Bureaucratic India

© 2013 Dlo08

Last week I participated in student conference called “The Fantastic and the Banal” hosted by the anthropology Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. The conference’s call for paper listed the following:

“Bureaucracy is mundane and absurd, blasé and infuriating, orderly and convoluted. Weber recognized the paradoxical qualities of bureaucracy, heralding it as the hallmark of modern social organization – one that promises routinization, standardization, and rationality, but also delivers tedium and disenchantment. Bureaucracy is clarity-meets-opacity par excellence with a dash of the superfluous, the ridiculous, and the impossibly kind thrown in as well. In this conference, we aim to rethink bureaucracy by attending to its iterations and contradictions, from the banal to the fantastic. We contend that bureaucratic authority is crucial for understanding contemporary issues across the humanities and social sciences, including, but not limited to, various forms of governmentality; humanitarianism; development projects…

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The Art of (China’s) Colonialism: Constructing Invisibilities in (Tibetan) History and Geography

© 2012 Dlo08

(FOR READERS: I’ve defined the following terminologies to smooth out the read:

Assumption: Representation.

Invisibility: Erasure: Silences.

Formation: as how things are formed

Discourse: narrative: discursive: polemics: writings: texts: as the mediums in which the conqueror, narrates the story of their conquest and the people they conquered, in the way they like to imagine themselves, to themselves.

Colonizer: Oppressor: Conqueror: Aggressor:  as the governance or group that is exerting power on another group.

The Orient: Colonized: Oppressed: Conquered:  as the group that the governance or more powerful group is exerting power on.)

What does an ethnographic discourse on the invisibility of a colonial empire in the 21st century look like? What does that invisibility contribute to, or rather take away from, the experiences of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet? In this post, I examine the historical and contemporary discourses on Tibet that frame Tibet as either

View original post 4,396 more words

The Museum on the Roof of the World: My Take

© 2013 Dlo08

I really enjoyed reading Clare Harris’s The Museum on the Roof of the World (2012). On finishing the first half of the book, which went into detailed analysis on the political life of archival documentation, specifically images of Tibet-ans, I immediately found myself wishing I had read this book to supplement what I was missing in my last post on Lhakar Diaries, “The Art of (China’s) Colonialism: Constructing Invisibilities in (Tibetan) History and Geography”: the role of the British in constructing the Orientalized Tibetan other.

British invasion of Tibet under the command of Younghusand.

Harris brings back to life documents and images from a range of colonial archives, and includes accounts and fictions published by British officers, ethnographers, soldiers and Asia-Tibet enthusiasts of that time to piece together how the myth of the exotic Tibet-an came into existence in the West. Her analysis is…

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When Gyalthang became Shangri-La: a critical reading

© 2012 Dlo08

(Background on how to read the post: [as can be seen in the comments section w/ few edits]

My post attempts to look at Hillman’s “academic” paper (who Journalists and the likes turn to as “experts”) to deconstruct how his narrative on Tibet supports China’s version of Tibet as not an “occupied territory.”

It argues for the importance of the current and past history of Gyalthang (an example of History 2s) in order to counter China’s history of Tibet (History 1), which is legitimized by academics such as Hillman who’s writing supports claims by China, and further recolonize Tibetans in other scholarly or print works on Tibet.

The idea was to try to deconstruct one piece, Hillmans, to reflect a larger trend in the academic and print media community at large, and specifically on Tibet, in how their discourse/ narratives/ writings justify China’s colonial occupation…

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