Participatory media as middle ground for problems of representation for Tibet
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Tibet Fund: 25 years of service and the road ahead is a feature length documentary on the 25 th anniversary of the founding of Tibet Fund, a not-for-profit organization based in New York. Tibet Fund provides assistance to Tibetan refugees in the field of humanitarian assistance, health, education, and cultural preservation. Tibet Fund captures the lives of ordinary Tibetan farmers, students, bureaucrats, administrators and prisoners from the eyes of a native ethnographer and in a collaborative filmmaking pursuit. The making of Tibet Fund and its reflexive strategies are analyzed in view of the politics and problems of media representation for Tibet, the theoretical framework of self-reflexive documentary, participatory media and collaborative ethnography. In the process, issues of media activism, nationalism, human rights, postcolonial and postmodern discourses of voice, representation and power are discussed. Collaborative or participatory video is found viable for the Tibetan community to provide self-representation, voice and power. This thesis recommends participatory video for community development, preserving culture and identity, recording history and for advocacy of freedom, human rights and democracy.