An Old Photo of my Grandfather with Robert Ford

Looking through some old photos today, I stumbled across a photo taken in 1946 of my Grandfather with Robert Ford in Lhasa!

My Grandfather and Robert Ford first met in Sikkim. Ford later moved to Lhasa to work for the Tibetan government so they must have met again there as my Grandfather was working for the British Mission.

As many people know, Ford went on to be stationed in Chamdo and was arrested and imprisoned by the Chinese in 1950. He wrote about his experiences in “Captured in Tibet, published in 1957. Robert Ford is still alive today and apparently spoke at an event in London in 2008 marking His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday!

Old photos of Tibet are so amazing, you can spend hours going through the collection here from Oxford’s Pitt-Rivers Museum!

When You Come to Tibet, You Will Take Lots of Photographs!

The most recent blogpost on High Peaks Pure Earth about Chinese tourists in Tibet (and a conversation with a friend about it) reminded me of my trip to Labrang in February 2008.

I couldn’t help noticing how many Chinese tourists were armed with super-expensive cameras and didn’t think twice about pointing them at anyone!

Here are a few photos I took of them taking photos of Tibetans. If someone had taken a photo of me taking a photo of them, it would have been a photo of a Tibetan taking a photo of a Chinese tourist photographing a Tibetan. I don’t think there are any such photos. Anyway here they are:


This last photo was actually taken in Beijing in May 2008, it was a propaganda exhibition titled “Tibet of China: Past and Present”. For some reason, this need to take lots of photographs continues!



UPDATE DECEMBER 2, 2010: One more addition to the collection! This photo was taken in Labrang by the wonderful WanderYak, thanks!


Poetry In Resistance

It was great to take part in SFTUK’s Renaissance night last month. The theme was to highlight writers and writings from Tibet. I introduced Woeser and read a poem written for her by Jamyang Kyi.

The full write up of the night is on SFTUK’s blog:

This is my bit of the evening below but I recommend watching the whole thing, especially Leah’s superb reading of “A Vow” by Woeser.