A summary of the situation: Many people around the world still don't understand the situation in Tibet; and too many write it off as insignificant because they don't comprehend the full scale of oppression that Tibetans face daily. Since the 1950s, the People's Republic of China has occupied Tibet, against the Tibetan people's will and wishes. There was never a time in the history of China's sovereignty over the country that Tibet welcomed the situation. And why would they? Tibet has a long and rich history, with its own leaders, before China claimed it. The Chinese government claims that it has a "right" to govern Tibet based on an agreement that was signed by the Dalai Lama in the 1950s - but since then, on numerous occasions, the Dalai Lama has repudiated the agreement.
China has forced its culture and politics on Tibet and its people; and has outlawed many native practices and ideologies (i.e. the exile of the Dalai Lama). A high number of Tibetans have fled the country over the years and found sanctuary in places like India, but many find themselves feeling displaced. Those who have remained in Tibet face, in addition to cultural oppression, extreme poverty and a complete lack of democratic freedom. In Tibet, anybody, even tourists and other non-natives, can be arrested for expressing opposition to the government policies, and most are never granted a fair trial. These people are either living in complete fear or have accepted the situation and are resolved to live under extreme oppression. In America, and many other countries, we take for granted the ability to practice our beliefs, critique our government and express our opinions - but try to imagine what a world without that freedom would be like.
For more than 60 years now, since the Chinese government took control of the land, its estimated that at least a million Tibetans have been killed. Some have died in jail as political prisoners, others have been killed by law enforcement during non-violent protests, and many have committed self-immolation. Tibetans are calling out for our help...just take a moment to listen and you'll hear it.
What we're doing: At 3 Generations, we believe in the power of storytelling. Our goal is to end human atrocity by helping survivors share their stories with the world, and archiving these stories for the future. Over the years, we have filmed survivors of varying genocides and oppressive situations, and facilitated them in telling the stories of their lives and experiences in their home countries. We've worked closely with Tibetan refugees including Ngawang Sangdrol, a former Tibetan nun whose story is compelling. The details of her life are both touching and horrific, from going to live as a nun at a very early age, to frightening accounts as a tortured prisoner. It's important that we all hear her story so that awareness surrounding this particular issue can be raised. Also, the storytelling process is important in and of itself; it's therapeutic and has allowed the survivors we've worked with to release some of their pain.
What YOU can do: By supporting this project, you are helping to raise awareness for the situation in Tibet and allowing us to continue to provide this important outlet for survivors and their grief. The more people that understand the situation in Tibet by listening to the stories we've captured on film, the closer we get to standing together as a global community and helping to improve this dire situation and to ending atrocity as a whole.