create a better life

Xiahe, China
01 / 2014

Nomads still exist today. Moving with herds across wide plains of grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau in the People’s Republic of China, these people evoke freedom with their homes rolled up in bundles. They cherish a fascinating life of liberty and mobility that is hard to imagine nowadays in the West. With their lifestyle requiring intimate knowledge of the environment, they have developed amazing abilities to cope with nature. They possess skills that are rare among most people today. Notwithstanding these admirable traits, Tibetan nomadic culture is facing serious threats.
      
In fast-growing China, the general belief exists that these people are unsophisticated, backward and ignorant. The Chinese government systematically oppresses the Tibetan rights under the guise of combating what it sees as “separatist sentiment”. What long used to be a non-violent advocacy for Tibetan independence, has now turned into extreme protests in the form of Tibetans setting themselves on fire. There have been over 100 reported cases since 2009 of Tibetan self-immolation in protest of Chinese rule, but China's state-run news agency consistently keeps on denying this.
     Nowadays, Tibetan culture is slowly becoming more and more imbued with modern (Eastern) Chinese values and practices, due to the authorities’ measures.