Gallery 63

DVDs to the U.S. Senate


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Dalai Lama by Joe Mickey - San Jose Ca

Tibetan DVD to Congress
Narrated by Sazzy Varga  

The Tibetan Photo Project sent 100 DVDs to every member of the  United States Senate.

 In October 2007, The United States Congress awarded Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, The Congressional Gold Medal of Honor - the nation's highest and most distinguished civilian award.

In honor of that event and in keeping with the mission of The Tibetan Photo Project, the founders, Sazzy Varga and Joe Mickey,  provided a copy of 8-minute short film on DVD to each of the 100 members of the United States Senate.

The film, "Save Tibet... Why?" is the final sequence to our 2006-07 release of "Visually and Respectfully Yours - The Story of The Tibetan Photo Project." It is the visual version of an op-ed that has appeared in several publications in the U.S and on the Web. (See a portion of this film at )

Varga and Mickey hope this effort  will add "just a drop more meaning in the presentation of this award for each of the senators who take the time to view these eight minutes of film that was guided by our friends in the Tibetan exile community in India."

The goal of The Tibetan Photo Project is to provide the tools and education to create a voice from the films and photos by Tibetans.

While there have been thousands of great visual works documenting the Tibetans, most have been from the perspective of the Western eye.

The Tibetan Photo Project is working to present the Tibetans' own perspective through the Tibetan Photo Project Website, exhibits, films, DVDs and other visual programs created from their own photographic work or by film and photo efforts directed by Tibetans.

"In 2006, we  were proud to finance and release the feature documentary, 'Voices in Exile,' by Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang," Varga said.

Mickey and Varga immediately followed up "Voices in Exile" by going to India where they were directed by many of the project's long time friends and contributors to The Tibetan Photo Project. This collaboration resulted in "Visually and Respectfully Yours - The Story of The Tibetan Photo Project."

The films are currently showing through a variety of exhibit and broadcast avenues including theater showings, film festivals, home and organizational screening parties and public television broadcasts.

To date, the combined Western circulation of print publications that have reported on Tibet in exile through The Tibetan Photo Project stands at 26 million and counting. Tibetans have also gained a voice with links to the project across the  Web, and through regional radio interviews television news features. 

In six  months, over 150,000 worldwide viewers  (and counting) clicked on video clips from the two films video Websites such as YouTube, AOL Video, MySpace and a dozen other popular sites.

Antioch College and Centenary College have both created exhibits from the photo files of The Tibetan Photo Project that have traveled to 6 cities since 2005.

Varga and Mickey offer slideshows and lecture programs that have been given to community groups and by invitations from grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities including at Colorado College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Remington College in Southern California, Antioch Colleges and Universities in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Ohio , Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, Mendocino College in northern California and most recently Duke University in North Carolina.

The Congressional Gold Medal of Honor - more commonly known as the  Congressional Gold Medal - the nation's highest and most distinguished civilian award. First awarded in 1776 to General George Washington, there have been over one hundred medals awarded. There have been two two-time winners - Major General Winfield Scott (1814, 1848) and John Horn, Jr (1874, 1904). Major General Zachary Taylor was awarded this special distinction three times: in 1846, 1847, and 1848.The medal has been awarded to individuals and groups from all walks of life. It was originally awarded to military leaders for achievement in battle, but became a civilian medal after the Medal of Honor was instituted. The medal is presented both for singular acts of exceptional service and for lifetime achievement. Congressional legislation is required to make the medal, and needs at least two-thirds of the House of Representatives to sponsor the legislation to the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology,  and Economic Growth and 67 Senators to sponsor it to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Once the legislation is past, the Congress commissions the U.S Mint to design and create the medal. This ensures that each medal is unique, representing each individual and/or event that it has been awarded for. The legislation provides for duplicate copies of the medal to be cast in bronze for sale, on occasion.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest expression of national appreciation for exceptional service and for lifetime contributions. The medal has been awarded to individuals and groups from all walks of life. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Pope John Paul II, the Navajo Code Talkers, Rosa Parks, Frank Sinatra, and Elie Wiesel are among those who have been honored.

Dalai Lama address Congressional Gold Medal  
Part 1

Part II

Part III  

Elie Wiesel Address for Dalai Lama

President Bush Address and Award Presentation  

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Dalai Lama




All images are Copyright 2000-2008, Joe Mickey, Sazzy Varga 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 your e-mail to the Tibetan Photo Project. Thank You.

* *We have receintly incorporated and are filing for Non Profit Status as: Camera's for Culture Inc. The Tibetan Photo Project will operate under this umbrella. We will let you know as soon as donations are tax deductible. **


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