Lecture by Pakpa Dondrup, Plateau Culture Initiative

News item posted on: February 1st, 2010
The Plateau Culture Initiative

By Pakpa Dondrup, The Plateau Culture Initiative

Pakpa Dondrup will discuss how the ETP (English training program) started in Xining. These trainees are also involved in producing English, Tibetan and Chinese language materials for the Plateau Culture initiative.

The Plateau Culture Initiative is comprised of three projects; Plateau Music Project, Plateau Photography Project, Asian Highland Perspectives (an Annual Journal).

The Plateau Music Project was founded in order to preserve endangered songs on the Tibetan plateau. Most of this music will disappear in the next decade. Their members, all local volunteers from English Training Program, Nationalities Teacher’s College, Qinghai Normal University, Qinghai Province, PR China, have since 2005 recorded more than five hundred Tibetan traditional songs. Beginning in late 2007, our project expanded to record endangered songs of other ethnic minority groups such as the Naxi and Pumi ethnicities in China’s Yunnan Province.

The Plateau Photographers Project has trained 62 young image makers (32 females and 30 males). Members come from rural communities in four provinces (Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan and Gansu) and although are primarily Tibetan, also include other ethnicities – Naxi, Namuyi, Pumi and Monguor (Tu). Each six months, new members train in basic photography and camera use. At the same time, returned members collate and archive their images before displaying them online and in their communities.

Sponsored by the East Asia Center and the Tibet Center at the University of Virginia.