Gallery 33

February 27th through May 29th, 2005

The Meadows Museum at Centenary College presents The Tibetan Photo Project exhibit.

This major exhibition features approximately 60 photographic images, Tibetan artifacts, guest lectures, cultural performances by Drepung monks. Twenty of recently discovered photos of Tibet in 1932 and over 40 contemporary images by Tibetans in exile will be on display.

The following are photos and captions of some of these events.

Click film strip to go to Gallery index page.


Tibetan Photo Project

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February 27th through May 29th, 2005 Shreveport, Louisiana

Visit the events and presentations page for a complete list of events

In 2000, The Tibetan Photo Project got its start when North Coast photographer Joe Mickey sent the first disposable camera to a Tibetan monk living in exile at the Drepung monastery in southern India. Co-founder Sazzy Varga made it possible for the project to go on the Web.

Now in its fifth year, photos taken for the project by a small team of Tibetans photographers are creating a growing voice for their exile community. Through media coverage of The Tibetan Photo Project, some portion of the story of Chinese government's policies of human and cultural genocide inflicted on the Tibetans has been told to millions in regional and national print, via Internet links and through public radio interviews in the U.S. and Canada.

According to Mickey, the ability of the Tibetan's images to attract attention is increasing in volume with a traveling gallery exhibit created by Lynn Holly for Antioch University's campus locations in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Antioch is also making plans to tour the exhibit at up to four more campus locations across the U.S.

Turning up the volume even higher is the extensive exhibit and program schedule created by Diane Dufilho, director of the Meadows Museum at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

On Feb. 26, after a year and a half of preparation, the Meadows Museum opened its doors on The Tibetan Photo Project. To highlight the photos by the exiled Tibetans, the walls of the entire first-floor gallery have been painted to match the yellow of the robes worn by Tibetan monks. On the second floor, a gallery and hallway are also filled with images.

Dufilho has balanced the photo exhibit with Tibetan artifacts, paintings and hands-on exhibits of prayer wheels, a singing bowl and monks bell. In early April, the Meadows will host Tibetan monks who will spend four days creating a sand mandala and in late April, the monks will give a cultural performance in the 1700 seat landmark Strand theater.

To coincide with the exhibit, which runs through May, Dufilho's museum staff has created a series of community outreach programs and scheduled a number of lectures in high schools and at the museum as well as initiated a citywide essay program open to high school students on the topic of Tibet. Fifty students will earn tickets to the cultural performance.

At the museum, a team of 20 volunteer docents have undergone extensive training to answer questions from visitors. The Shreveport Times (Circulation 80,000-plus) has given generous coverage to the Tibetan struggle and the project in its art section.

Mickey flew to Shreveport for the opening and also for his first face to face meeting with Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang, one of the Tibetan photographers he has been corresponding with and supplying cameras to for the past four years. In the past year, Mickey took on the role of producer for Wangden's documentary film "Voices in Exile." Working with technical advice from Fort Bragg Filmmaker Paul Kraus, Mickey supplied Wangden with a video camera and computer editing equipment in northern India where he has been filming. "It is a natural evolution of the project to put the images in motion," said Mickey, "and now people can literally hear the voice of the Tibetans on a variety of issues."

Upon making arrangements for Wangden's visa to America, Centenary and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities offered technical support for the editing process through the school's film program.

In their first meeting, Wangden also outlined a new program being created by Centenary that will bring three Tibetan students from India every year so they can receive a full college education.

On Feb. 27, projecting from the gallery filled with photos by Tibetans and Tibetans cultural artifacts, Wangden and Mickey were able to present a 40-minute premiere of a work-in-progress to a standing-room-only crowd of Wangden's film.

The following day, media coverage went statewide when Wangden, Mickey and Dufilho were interviewed for a segment of the Louisiana television broadcast of the popular "State of Louisiana" program.

In the interview, Mickey and Wangden took turns restating information from their lectures, "Every time the media reports that the Chinese have killed one-sixth of the Tibetan population and that they continue to follow policies bent on destroying Tibet's culture, it grows the voice and it speaks to the power of a single frame of film." In this interview, another exciting development was announced, "And now, thanks to the introductions at Centenary created by the photography, there is a new educational opportunity available to some Tibetan youth with a program that will bring promising students to the U.S. for a college education at Centenary."

As Mickey sees it, "I haven't had any money to peruse this project, but when you see how it continues to develop, it is testimony to the power of every frame of film and the potential photography holds to give voice and opportunity to people who otherwise would have neither."

And what does he see as the next goal? "Our deal with the Meadows is that we get the framed prints when the show closes, so we need to find the next venue for the exhibit. We have come this far with little financial support...we find our way, like monks with begging bowls."

Mickey is planning a North Coast premiere of the 40-minute work-in-progress version of "Voices in Exile." He will return to Louisiana for a week of lectures at the beginning of April. Antioch University in Los Angeles will finish the spring semester with the Tibetan Photo Project. Arrangements are being made to open the exhibit in the fall in Ohio. On March 10, Wangden will return to Dharamsala, India where he will finish the film. To keep up with developments on "Voices in Exile," click the link to Wangden's film on the menu at the left.


Joe In front of the Meadows Museum Prior to meeting Wangden for the first time

The first meeting of Joe and Wangden

Crowd at the Meadows opening

Wangden teaching the young kids in the audience

Wangden demonstrating the singing bowls with the audience

The FIRST Screening of "Voices in Exile" as work-in-progress

Wangden Q and A after the film

Wangden's TV interview after the screening

Joe's TV interview after the screening

Joe's TV interview after the screening

Wangden In front of the Meadows Museum seeing Joe off.


All imAll images are Copyright 2001-2011, Joe Mickey and the Tibetan Photo Project and may not be published without permission. While you may print the material on this site for easy reading or sharing with friends. For feature articles, publication or public use of any of the material or images contained on this site please contact Joe Mickey via e-mail at and please reference y



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