Exhibition: Journey into Exile
1 - 21 December 2007, Aberdeen Arts Centre
The Exhibition 'Journey into Exile' at the Aberdeen Arts Centre was
produced by the charity, Art Refuge UK. This organisation helps Tibetan
refugee children, newly arrived in Nepal or India, through the medium
of visual arts and creative play. Over 3000 refugees make the long and
difficult journey over the Himalayas into exile each year to escape the
oppressive Chinese regime in their homeland. More than one-third of
these are children under 14 years old. The exhibition is a celebration
of their courage and determination.
The Exhibition, which ran from 1st to 21st December, was opened by the
local MSP Richard Baker, who is a member of the cross-party group on
Tibet in the Scottish Parliament. In his opening address he recalled
that his interest in Tibet had been sparked when, as an undergraduate
at Aberdeen University, the Dalai Lama had visited to receive an
honorary doctorate. This was also the event which caused the formation
of Tibet Support Group Grampian.
The drawings and paintings on display are in three distinct groups:
Some of these recollections of Tibet show an idyllic pastoral
lifestyle. However, many of them depict violence and torture which the
children themselves would not have witnessed, but which they would have
heard about from their elders.
The traumas experienced by the children as they crossed the Himalayas,
mostly at night and in severe conditions of cold and snow are clear
here. In particular, the shooting of the Tibetan refugees by Chinese
border guards at the Nangpa La Pass in September 2006 are depicted in
two paintings - one by a 10 year old boy.
There are some wonderful and imaginative images here, many portraying
the Tibetan flag, which is banned in Tibet itself. In one dream of
returning home, the sky over Tibet is full of colourful parachutes of
the Tibetan refugees descending, including the Dalai Lama descending
onto the Potala Palace.
The exhibition is currently being shown in the Edinburgh University
Student's Union, and it is hoped that it will then move on to the
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