The Struggle for the Spirit: Being Tibetan in Beijing

NOA Community Centre (Ferry Centre)
Summertown, Oxford

(click for map etc.)

Following more than five years of involvement in Tibet-related activities in Europe, Dechen Pemba moved to Beijing in September 2006 to learn Chinese, and to see for herself what life in China was like. This talk presents an overview of her experiences in the twenty- two months that she lived in Beijing, during the run-up to the Olympic Games. During this time she travelled to Tibet several times and got to know many Tibetans living in Beijing. The Tibetans she met fell into very distinct categories in terms of their integration into Chinese society, and in terms of their political affiliations. During her trips to Tibet, she was also struck by the profound differences between Tibetan and Chinese culture, and by how much the deeply spiritual and religious beliefs of Tibetans seemed at odds with the fast-paced urban life in Beijing. Dechen will also talk about her own personal story, and the events leading finally to her deportation back to London in July 2008.

Dechen Pemba is a 30 year old British Tibetan. After graduating from University College London with a degree in English and German Literature, she worked briefly in publishing in London, before working voluntarily for Amnesty International as translator for two nuns and former political prisoners from Tibet. She moved to Beijing in 2006 after working for four years for the International Campaign for Tibet in Berlin. Dechen Pemba currently lives in London.

£8.00 (Friends £3.00)