496 PICS

Portraiture for the Preservation of Tibet - A Brother and Sister Unite to Raise Awareness

My brother and I want to travel to communities of Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal, as well a Tibet itself if possible, to document the people and culture to raise awareness and tell the story of a culture nearing extinction.

Today there are over 120,000 displaced Tibetans living all over the world. Tibet’s unique culture and identity are facing extinction. These are refugees who have been exiled into India and Nepal, forced to flee the country for protesting against the Chinese government, or simply to pursue an education. Having witnessed human injustices in my time spent living as a volunteer in Ghana, and in my travels to places like Burma and Cambodia, I have known for a long time that as a goal in life I want to use photography as a medium to raise awareness of these often forgotten people. My brother and I want to tell the story of the disparity and dilemma between a modern people and the roots of their homeland traditions and beliefs. If things continue the way they are going, the Tibetan way of life will be erased and disappear completely.

I was originally inspired to do this project because of my brother and his deep love and respect for Tibet. Its culture and religion have touched and changed his life all the way on the other side of the world. Anything that can have that kind of profound influence deserves to stick around.

As a brother/sister team, we would travel to communities of Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal. If possible, we would travel into Tibet itself. With my brother's deep understanding and respect of the culture, and my knowledge and love of international issues, travel, and photography, we would meet and get to know the people and their stories. We both have a passion for exploration and knowledge, and we want to apply this to tell the story of Tibet. We can approach this assignment in a unique way – with genuine knowledge, understanding, and compassion.

Regarding the exile of 100,000 Tibetans to India, "Now 50 years past [the failed uprising of Tibet], at least in this planet there is one place where Tibetan Buddhist studies and Tibetan Buddhist culture continues with full freedom," the Dalai Lama said on March 10, 2009.

We are approaching this assignment with three goals:

1) Document the Tibetan way of life before it disappears completely.

2) Tell the stories of the refugees in India and Nepal desperately trying to hold onto their identity in a foreign land away from their families - learn about the struggles in their homeland.

3) Raise awareness through this project - with our blog, people will be able to follow us as we share what we learn along our journey, and when we return, we will host a gallery show with the photos to raise funds and increase public understanding.


Traveling to “third world” countries around the world has made me realize that the most unique cultures are becoming more and more diluted, losing their core identity. I have researched and photographed the geopolitical, sociological, and theological factors that make cultures unique throughout the world, and what those things do to affect cross-cultural interactions. But, most importantly, I strive to understand the human side of every story.

Passionate about photography for over a decade, I have naturally drifted towards a sort of photojournalistic portraiture approach. If you want to find the story and beauty in a location, look toward the people. I have traveled around the world, and the place I was most drawn to was South Asia – its people, beliefs, and beauty. It has been my dream to return with a purpose ever since.


As an avid practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, and an involved member in the community birthed by the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, I am filled with gratitude for Tibet. For such a small region, its impact on the world has been immense. I believe it is the responsibility of those whose lives have been profoundly touched by Tibet to give their sincerest efforts in preserving the culture, which is rapidly slipping through the fingers of the refugees and current citizens of the land. I believe photography is a beautiful medium with which to preserve the culture, which is why my dream assignment is to capture the culture in people’s faces with a camera, to forever remain remembered and celebrated.

"I have no doubt that the justice of [the] Tibetan cause will prevail if we continue to tread a path of truth and non-violence." - Dalai Lama

Rank: 35



I voted for you. May I suggest that you look at some of the dreams different people have posted here (mine is about children) and vote for the ones you like best. If you leave a comment, they can link back to your dream by clicking on your name and you might get a vote. Good luck!


Don't forget to vote for your own idea, Emily! You vote by clicking on the number in the upper left corner of this page. If it is black, you didn't vote for it yet. It turns yellow when you do vote. Good luck!


your project is certainly worthwhile, i wish you the best in your pursuit of realization!


I love this idea! check out mine and Pic it if youd like! Congo here I come...


Bravo! Here's my vote - please help me out, too. Thanks!


Hey - Fantastic idea!

You've got my vote ... Will you check mine out and give me a vote? Hang in there!

Keep shooting ... D


This is such an important project. I had the honor of meeting several Tibetan monks while I was in college. The couple of days that I spent with them truly changed my life. Anything we can do to bring awareness to them and the Tibet people is a worthwhile project. You have my vote! Good luck!


Follow your dreams! You can make a difference through sharing the world through your beautiful photography and words.


beautiful initiative. keep the spirit alive, my frieds
lets help each other achieve our dreams
you've got my vote


As photographers we can tell a story and change the world but it seems some great ideas are getting lost from lack of votes so if you'll vote for me I will vote for you. Thanks for your idea and vote... Jkava888


Count it!!!


I would love to see this project become a reality. Anything to bring more awareness to Tibet.


This is the most inspiring idea I've read in a while. I went to Thailand and was so moved by the monk's optimism and customs. We need to save the culture and their way of life. China should set them FREE!!! I hope you win!


thanks, like it,certainly some good ideas getting lost in the mix amongst all this computer network votes..and if you like mine,about orhpans in USA and Africa, please return the vote!


Go for it Chase!!!!! What a wonderful way to play in the Dharma!
I hope you and your sister win, and if you do, have fun!!!


Tibet is the perfect assignement!!!
my dream is there too, return the vote if you like it!



Aly Bee


Wonderful idea. I have voted for you.
P.S. Tibet is one of the places I intend to go if my idea is selected, such a cultural treasure, we must do what we can to prevent its' loss.


Thanks for the votes, everyone!
To see some of my photography, check out laurenbauer.smugmug.com.
Or, follow me on flickr! http://www.flickr.com/photos/lo-go/


I am pretty proud of my cousins - you have my vote! All the best.


yeaaa laur..


What a great idea for a worthy cause. Best wishes, guys!


Tibet and Tibetans are being forgotten in the
horrid money dance. Fearing China's creditors we are letting an extraordinary culture
suffer. Their
friendliness and unself-conscious authenticity
comes through
. Generations of seeing
through Buddhist eyes is there.


Thank you for your work to benefit others.
With gratitude,


voted! best wishes!



Voted...love your idea. Good luck.




This is a wonderful idea- I would love to see it come about!


Love your idea, and just voted for you. I study Shambhala Buddhism and this issue is important to me. If inspired, please vote for my peace project too. Thanks and good luck!


You're so close to top 20! Good luck!


Noble project and great to see family love! Voted.

Check out my project on innovation and technology as change for the developing world and my portfolio here: http://maclellanimages.com/blog1/galleries/


Great Idea!! hope you guys make it!


Good Luck, I just voted for ya.




We Love you Both - Good Luck with the assignment.


Matt, Steph, Taylor


Good luck, Lauren!
- Liz


i voted because it's important!


Sounds like a great project. You got my vote!
Good luck!


This is an amazing cause, I wish you both luck and happiness.


tashi delek!
now go, before the forgetting begins.
- love


Good Luck!!


Save Tibet!! Goodl luck!

I just PIC'd you, so please stop by and leave a comment ...and a vote!

I'm a photographer who is trying to change the world, starting with my community.



This is a great project and you got my vote.


i got u lil cuz. good luck


can you vote twice, cuz?


amazing lauren!


Good luck!


I like your idea, check out mine and vote for me if you like it. Its about poverty and society in 3rd world countries and how they are controlled, devastated by their governments and western industrialized nations.

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