Woeser and Invisible Tibet

Tsering Woeser is a Chinese poet, writer and blogger, currently living in Beijing. Her blog is Invisible Tibet (Chinese, some translated into English can be read here) that keeps record of happenings in Tibet. In February 2012, Prince Claus Awards Committee in the Netherlands granted Woeser the 2011 annual award for her continuous writing to make Tibetans’ stories be heard by the world. After winning the laureate, in early March, Woeser was prevented from attending the Prince Claus Award ceremony planned to be hosted in the Dutch Embassy in Beijing by the Chinese authorities. And moreover, her movement has been restricted and she was also invited to “drink tea”, a Chinese saying of being questioned by state security police, for several times.

The following is what the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development writes about Woeser:

Tsering Woeser (1966, Lhasa) is a courageous Tibetan writer, who offers unique perspectives on the complexities of Tibet today. The daughter of Communist Party members, her father an officer in the People’s Liberation Army, Woeser was educated, and writes, in Mandarin Chinese.

Following literary studies, she was posted to Lhasa as editor of the journal Tibetan Literature and began to uncover her true heritage. In Tibet Above (1999), Woeser published poems exploring her Tibetan identity. Her next book, Notes on Tibet (2003), addressing cultural and political issues more directly and critically through portraits of Tibetan lives, was banned; she lost her job and all social benefits but resolved to use words as her weapon and to record Tibet’s past and present.

Moving to the greater anonymity of Beijing, she used the internet to publish increasingly explicit commentaries on the arrest and torture of Tibetans – the appealing literary qualities of her writing conveying her message all the more effectively. Woeser’s concern with Tibetan culture continued in articles on contemporary painting, film and literature, and in groundbreaking books including Forbidden Memory: Tibet During the Cultural Revolution (2006), which combines her father’s photographs of the period with eyewitness accounts she gathered through interviews.

During the mass demonstrations against Chinese rule and violent crackdown in 2008, Woeser’s blogs became the main source of information for the world. Relaying details from her contacts in Tibet, she posted daily reports on the protests, human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings.

Woeser has undergone house arrest and harassment, her websites have been closed down, her movements are restricted and her life under constant surveillance, but she continues to write about Tibet from inside China. Woeser is honoured for her courage in speaking for those who are silenced and oppressed, for her compelling combination of literary quality and political reportage, for recording, articulating and supporting Tibetan culture, and for her active commitment to self-determination, freedom and development in Tibet.”

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4 Responses to Woeser and Invisible Tibet

  1. fulanke says:

    You can find translation (in French) of Woeser’s articles and poems on the blog : http://woeser.wordpress.com/

  2. Pingback: Checkpoint on the road to Lhasa by Tsering Woeser | Chinese Voices for Justice

  3. eckart dissen says:

    Support Woeser all over the world!

  4. Himalayan prince says:

    Respected and very beloved Tsering Woeser la, you are truly the most honorable and highly courage woman in the whole world of Tibet and Tibetan society, we all the Tibetans are very blessed having you and doing greatest doing for the cause of mejorities well being especially for the concerning about Tibets causes, and I hope all the best of luck and blessings are always with you! Finally I wanna say please you just can ask me if there’s anything that I can do for you and for your greatness doing as I’m living here in freedom country ! Thanks !

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