The TEXT Project (Tibetans in Exile Today) is an oral history program based at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The project is directed by Professor Sidney Burris, Director of the Fulbright College Honors Program and Professor of English, and Geshe Thupten Dorjee, an instructor in the Humanities Program.
The TEXT Project is dedicated to recording video interviews with the Tibetans currently living in India, many of whom are already very old. As these elderly Tibetans pass away, so too do their memories of traditional Tibetan culture. There is, accordingly, an increasing urgency that this work be undertaken in a timely fashion.
But we have also learned that the Tibetan voice in exile is a complex one, with many perspectives, and so we intend to include interviews here from all Tibetans, regardless of their age or generation or cultural orientation. In so doing, we hope to give some indication of how this burgeoning experiment in democratic self-governance is faring.
Our goal ultimately is to create a permanent online archive where these interviews can be housed permanently and viewed by everyone.
One of the unique features of The TEXT Project is that Arkansas students play a central role in all aspects of constructing the oral history: they master the equipment, they design and carry out the interviews, learning fundamental skills of co-operation as they assume their roles in the production teams, and they assist us in uploading the footage to this site. It is the hope of the directors that each of our students have the opportunity to sit down with these Tibetans, representatives of one of the few authentically non-violent cultures remaining in the world, to help them preserve their stories, and in the process to better prepare themselves to become citizens of an increasingly inter-connected and global community.
The current site is simply a work-in-progress that serves as the predecessor to our on-line archive.
We will add to this page viewer-friendly excerpts from the full-length interviews until we have secured the funding necessary to build the archival website. Once we have acquired such funding, we will post these interviews in their entirety. We are also compiling photographs from our trips to India, and these will eventually be posted here as well.
For more information about The TEXT Project, contact Professor Sidney Burris (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Geshe Dorjee (email@example.com).