On December 12, 2022, the Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S) and Tibet Policy Institute (TPI) jointly organised the screening of the movie “The Sun Behind the Clouds”, directed by Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin, followed by presentations by two young scholars, Mr. Gokul KS and Ms. Madhura Balasubramaniam. This exercise led by the Chennai Centre for China Studies forms part of ‘Documentary Studies’. The screening explored the theory and practice of documentary filmmaking and gave a perspective on Tibetan documentary filmmaking from an interdisciplinary perspective, covering communication, art, history, and themes in Tibetan studies. The welcome address was delivered by Commodore R. S. Vasan, IN (Retd) Director General, C3S, setting the tone of the event. The special address was delivered by Mr. Tenzin Lekshay, Spokesperson and Additional Secretary, Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration where he brought out how Chinese actions disturb regional stability and peace in Asia. He also added the 1962 India-China war along the India-Tibet border militarised this region which continues till date. The subsequent screening gave an informed opinion of the plight of the Tibetans under the People’s Republic of China (PLA) and its practice of oppression, which threaten the Tibetan culture and demography. It also helped the viewers understand the “Sinification of Tibet”. Mr. Gokul KS, PhD Scholar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, spoke after lunch on the topic
“Aesthetic Politics of Tibetan Filmmaking in Exile”. The next speaker, Ms. Madhura Balasubramaniam, PhD., Scholar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, spoke on the topic “Politics of Statelessness within the Tibetan Exile Community”. The ensuing Q & A session delved deep into the dynamics of Tibetan cinema.
Dr. Sonika Gupta, Associate Professor, China Studies Centre, IIT-Madras, shared her remarks on the question of the politics of forgetting and the politics of remembering posed. Questions were also posed on the challenges of filming and screening of Tibetan cinema for the global audience. The audience included veterans from the Armed Forces, members of the Chennai Center for China Studies, Colors of Glory, China Watchers, research scholars, the strategic community in Chennai, and students from various colleges, including academic institutions. Commodore R. S. Vasan, IN (Retd), Director General C3S, felicitated the young scholars with mementos. Ms. Dhanya D. Research Officer, C3S, presented the formal vote of thanks, which brought the event to a conclusion.