On Wednesday, January 6th, our interns organized HEAR US OUT! Talking IDENTITY from Tibet to Exile at Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen. This event comes as an attempt to create a platform for young Tibetans to express their experiences of exile, statelessness, fragility, integration and engage in conversations with Tibetans from Tibet through literature, art, music, poetry.
For our first installation of this series of event, we highlighted the theme of Identity. We read poems by Theurang (aka Tashi Rabten), one of the foremost public figures in contemporary Tibet. We also read out exile-poet Tenzin Tsundue’s ‘My Tibetanness’, and a response from Gade Tsering from Tibet. Emerging young Tibetan exile poet Ten Phun read out some of his poems from his newly published book ‘Sweet Butter Tea’. Kay sang, contributing editor for Tibetan Feminist Collective, read out her poem ‘Half Blood’ on embracing her Tibetaness with Indian influences, having been raised in India.
We had an engaging audience with many questions, comments and testimonies of the struggles of being away from home, of loss, of adapting, of being denied the right to be Tibetan in Tibet by China. We came away from the event feeling inspired, knowing that there is a need for more open discussion and conversations. Thank you to everyone who made it out to our event!