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Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 07:30

A Year in Tibet

Sun Shuyun

Documentary Film Maker and Author

Embassy of Sweden


Ruidian Dashiguan

3 Dongzhimenwai Dajie

BIS welcomes back Sun Shuyun, who in April 2006 challenged myths about the Long March, and now returns to speak about her experiences in Tibet. From June 2006 to July 2007, she spent a year in Gyantse, Tibet's third largest town, recording the life of eight ordinary Tibetans. The result is a five-part TV series and a book of the same title: A Year in Tibet, which came out just as the demonstrations erupted in Lhasa a year ago.

There has been much coverage of Tibet since then, mostly by journalists and commentators who have never been there. What is Tibetan culture as it is lived by the Tibetans today? What are the threats to that culture? Sun Shuyun will talk about the Tibet that lies behind the headlines.

Sun Shuyun was born in China in the 1960s; after studying English Literature at Peking University, she won a scholarship to Oxford, where she did a M.Phil in International Relations. For the past decade, she has been dividing her time between Beijing and London, making documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK, and Discovery, National Geographic and History Channels in the US, mostly on Asian issues. Her China documentaries include: A Year in Tibet (BBC), Dying to Leave (BBC), Half the Sky (Channel 4). She also has written three critically reviewed books: Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud, The Long March, and A Year in Tibet.