Humanity Photo Awards 2013

I was  intrigued  to find a photography competition dedicated to  the recording of  vanishing tribal cultures and thrilled to win with two bodies of work. For the Nomination award my work Tibetans in Kham was chosen and the Naga and Nishi work won a Performance award.

The Humanity Photo Awards is a biennial photography contest supported by UNESCO and the China Folklore Photographic Association and sponsored by the World Folklore Photography Association.  The CFPA is the only photographic association in the world who enjoys full operational relations with UNESCO.It’s goals are to explore and rescue the endangered folk cultures of world nationalities and to enhance mutual understanding to promote the world peace.

Humanity Photo Awards (HPA) is an international competition, aiming to call upon photographers all over the world to widely and deeply record and preserve the heritage of the folk culture. HPA finds a way for photography to ally with folklore, anthropology and sociology and its photo series provide the most systemic specimens and trustworthy evidence for cultural heritage, which is far beyond artistic value.

 The premiere exhibition “Memories of Mankind” will be held in December in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

Yushu Festival - Kham

Yushu Festival – Kham

Sekrenyi Festival-Nagaland

Sekrenyi Festival-Nagaland

Adventure is out there…

“Adventure is out there, but it’s also in here.It’s an inner game. What separates adventure from the mundane is an openness to the unexpected and a willingness to embrace it, laugh your way through it when you aren’t gritting your teeth, and learn from it. It’s not a freedom from fear, it’s an unwillingness to let it have even one day of your already beautiful, short, fragile, one-of-a-kind life. It’s being present, 100% in your art, your relationships, the way you raise your children, and the way you open your heart to strangers. You can do that from home and you can do that from the base camp of Everest. It’s a choice, a posture of the mind and heart. It is not the exclusive domain of the privileged, the healthy, or the strong. It is for all of us that, if you’ll pardon the worn cliche, are we are willing to hear the music and have the courage to dance without shame.”

I read this today on David duChemin’s Pixelated Image blog and it resonated with me…Life is the grand adventure and we are all in it together.

I am so thankful for all the people in my life who share their journeys with me and allow me to share mine.

Yushi Festival in Kham

Yushu Festival in Kham

Tibetan Summer Festivals In Kham

Summer is the season of Tibetan festivals when people throughout Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan- provinces of China- gather to celebrate old traditions during the long warm days on the high altitude plateau.  These events also have acquired a political sub-text: the continuing struggle between China and its Tibetan minority over cultural identity and religious freedom.

This is a  a quote from Freya Stark – a traveler, explorer, Arabist, woman of letters – on  Arrival ” There is a great moment ,when you see ,however distant, the goal of your wandering.The thing which has been living in your imagination, suddenly becomes a part of the tangible world.”

All my life , I have been drawn to this part of the world .I have been reading every book with Tibet in the tittle since I was a child. Pearl Buck and Rumer Godden were the beginning and now I have an extensive library of travel essays. I concentrate on the early explorers and photographers: Isabella Bird is one of my favorites and Alexandra David Neel and Peter Goullart too.

kham goddess

The Opening Ceremonies were so beautiful, filled with dancers, singers and riders in splendid costumes.

This is relaxation Tibetan style with family and friends – time to honor heroes and horses. The Khampa horsemen . . . and horsewomen . ..will race their horses and at night, the streets of the town

will come alive with more dancing and singing

There were not many tourists or westerners and  we were able to move around and shoot behind the scenes and were invited into tents to drink and eat with everyone. We were welcomed everywhere we went.kham opening ceremonies

Khampa horseman

In the villages nearby it was a time for socializing , playing pool and shopping.We went to the village jeweler after admiring this Tibetan womans earrings. She immediately took us to a small jewelry stall and we bought rings and hoops earrings.

kham town

kham playing pool

In another town we stopped by a school and the home of  the local weaver who was weaving yak fibers stretched across the yard  for a tent.

weaving yak fibers

School yard in Kham

Terri Gold World Imagery

“Some people say, “What does it matter if Tribal cultures fade away.” The answer is simple. When asked the meaning of being human, all the diverse cultures of the world respond with 10,000 different voices.” – Wade Davis

I  want to tell the stories of many diverse cultures.  My goal is to explore our cross-cultural truths; the importance of family, community and ritual and the amazing diversity of its expression.  I’m going to begin sharing some of my tribal adventures here with the Tibetan Festivals in Kham..  Making the journey and taking the picture, is only the first step for me. In the traditional darkroom, I was a lith printer which was like a dance in the darkroom… no two prints ever came out the same. I have studied and taught many alternative processes i.e.:  infrared digital and film, hand painting, Polaroid transfers and more. Now, I recreate these effects in the digital darkroom and find it equally creative and challenging.

So the summer festivals begin on the rooftop of the world in Kham which in southwest China and Tibet.

Racing with the Wind

Women Of Kham

For Slideshow of more Festival Imagery: click here