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'Do What You Think About': Fashionable Responses to the End of Tibet

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Cameron David Warner - Lecturer

In the P.R.C., Tibetans are migrating to growing cities as the government closes their grasslands ostensibly to prevent soil erosion from climate change. This first generation of truly urban Tibetans are inventing new music and clothing to address the needs of their generation. Combining ancient patterns and shapes, labels such as 1376, Hima Ālaya, Rewa, Lamdo, and Munsel stitch motifs from pre-modern Tibetan clothing onto hooded sweatshirts, winter hats, backpacks, sneakers and other urban wear essentials. Some Tibetan bricoleurs respond to pervasive apocalyptic discourses, which reiterate that Tibetan life is dying an inevitable death, through clothing, related popular music, poetry, and even company manifestos. Deliberately avoiding the naiveté or fatalism of the hope or sorrow trap, these designers point to alternative paths that embrace some elements of the impermanence of life on the Tibetan plateau, while simultaneously preserving what they deem to be valuble aspects of their culture. This paper attempts to develop the Tibetan concept of impermanence (mi rtag pa) into a nascent theory, in conversation with, not fully dependent upon, North Atlantic social theory. It also harbors a concern for the mercurial nature of the objects we define for study, and thereby tries embrace impermanence within its own epistemology.
2 May 2019

Event (Conference)

TitleInevitable Ends
LocationMoesgaard Museum



  • Inevitable Ends

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organisation af a conference

ID: 186355072