By Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 25: A U.S.-based NGO, Machik, that incubates social innovation in Tibet recently announced the launch of Machik Khabda, an online chat program to discuss seminal works on Tibet by contemporary Tibetans inside Tibet or in the world-at-large.
Its announcement says, “In the spirit of transgressing the boundaries between contemporary Tibet and the global context, Machik is launching Khabda as a platform for local communities worldwide to explore books, film, art, music and other Tibetan cultural forms emerging from inside Tibet today.”
Khabda means an informal conversation in Tibetan.
The organization says it hopes to create a global community that gathers to have a conversation about the shifting cultural world of contemporary Tibet.
Machik’s work focuses on five main areas: The Chungba Project, Women's Initiatives, Summer Enrichment Program, Social Entrepreneurship, Youth Leadership, and Governance.
“In a way, Machik Khabda is our way of growing the conversation we have every year at Machik Weekend. So we hope you’ll join us as we look together at themes and topics that are shaping Tibetan culture in these uncertain times,” said the program description.
Machik Weekend is a unique 3-day global forum for dialogue, exploration and understanding for Tibetans, Chinese and global citizens who share a passion for the ideals of service and innovative approaches to civic engagement for Tibet. It recently held its 12th annual meeting in New York.
The first episode on Saturday, March 2 is set to be the reading of ENTICEMENT: Stories of Tibet, the first book of short stories in English-language anthology of short stories by one of the Tibet’s most prominent writer and filmmakers, Pema Tseden.
The program is going to be curated by Dr. Tashi Rabgey, the strategic director and co-founder of Machik with her sister Losang Rabgey.
Tashi Rabgey is also a research professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School and director of the Tibet Governance Project at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.
According to its eponymous website, Phur, the viral song by Anu and the documentary Summer Pasture are going to be featured in the following series of Khabda this summer.
Online space is increasingly being employed creatively by exiled Tibetan students, artists and organizations in the form of podcasts and talk shows to create an informal space for discussion.