Tibet has been a land shrouded in medievalism and mysticism for centuries, ruled from the fabled Potala palace by the reincarnation of a god-king, the Dalai Lama. Incredible accounts from the earliest explorers of lamas levitating to change mind and matter, of yogis meditating in mountain caves without sleep or sustenance for years, and of shamans blowing human thighbone horns to stop hail or bring rain have established Tibet in the curious eyes of the outside world as a true-life Himalayan Shangri La. Weather myth or reality, this Tibet no longer exists. With the Chinese communist invasion of 1950 came the end of a unique and timeless culture and lifestyle. Had the Fourteenth Dalai Lama not escaped to India in 1959, inspiring a hundred thousand of his countrymen to follow him, Tibet would today have disappeared without a trace into the map of China. This new edition of Tibet in Exile is a photographic record of life for the Dalai Lama and his people in exile. It begins with a new foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, followed by an updated introduction, illustrated with valuable historic photographs, tracing the history and development of Tibet.
This is a large work in many senses, the oversized format befitting the subject. The opening text, "The Land of Snows," chronicles events between the historic escapes from the Chinese of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1910 and the 14th in 1959. "Refuge in India" describes the danger and devastation for those who followed, the conditions of their emerging community, and the situation of their homeland under Chinese rule. Both texts use black-and-white photographs, in striking contrast to "The Legend Lives: The Photographs of Raghu Rai," occupying the majority of the book. In full, vibrant color, Rai, an Indian photojournalist and member of Magnum, portrays the lives of meditation and ceremony practiced by the Dalai Lama and the Buddhist monks who follow him, as well as the lives of ordinary Tibetans in exile--their political actions, their markets, celebrations, and schools. The richness and potency of these photographs give witness to the vitality and continuity of the endangered refugee community.
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