“I was born to fly wherever I like, to live in the open air, to sing whenever I want. You take all this away from me and then say, ‘What’s wrong with you?'” – Epictetus, On Freedom
- Media | Film | Interactive
- The Refugees of Shangrila
- Bhutanese Refugee Story – From Nepal to Seattle’s Rainier Valley
- Ethnic Clensing of a NationBhutan’s Forgotten People
- Websites | News | Articles
- Gross National Happiness Is A Lie by Jason Ditzian
- Bhutanese Refugees
- Bhutan is No Shangri-LaEchoes of Ancient Ethos: Reflections on Some Popular Bhutanese Social Themes
- One Nation One People Pie: Treat Tasted BitterHappiness and Human Rights in Shangri-La
The Dragon Bites Its Tail
Torture in Bhutan
- Bhutan’s Gross National Shame
- What Are Some Mind-blowing Facts About Bhutan?Going Nowhere
- Extra Info | Further ReadingDon’t be a Dick by Fenwick Smith
Expulsion and the Will to Survive
No Milk, Less Honey
The Peripheral People as described in “The National Question: Europe in Historical Context” (referenced to “Keeping A Rendezvous” by John Berger) were Eastern European groups that are stateless, displaced or oppressed; the Kurds, Basques, Kosovars who look towards the liberation of their national identity. They are the victims of what Giorgio Agamben described as “bare-life” an individual stripped of political and national identity exposed to the state’s unmediated application of power.
‘…All nationalisms are at heart deeply concerned with names…Those who dismiss names as a detail have never been displaced, but the peoples on the peripheries are always being displaced. This is why they insist upon their identity being recognised, insist upon their continuity – their links with their dead and the unborn” – The National Question: Europe in Context
The Lhotshampa is an example of peripheral people, a minority group exiled by the Bhutanese government from the 1990s to today evidentially sharing similarities with the liberation movements of Eastern Europe. For more information, I encourage you to view the links and continue researching the truth on the situation.
This project is based on a documentary animation by Avishkar Chhetri in regards of a brief from the Wellcome Collection, part of the Royal College of Art MA animation course and independent artists, musicians, composers and activists to bring awareness of the issues of the Bhutanese Refugees and consequently all displaced individuals.
Bhutan is located in South Asia as a relatively small nation in the Himalayas and as an inherent monarchy, they adhere to their beliefs and political structure from the King and Queen from the current Wangchuck dynasty as of 1907. Furthermore, their nationhood is rudimentarily based on Tibetan Drukpa heritage and recognise the cultural heritage of Mahayana Buddhism in Bhutan’s governance. The government is cautious of its rapidly shrinking self-reliance and consciously aware of the dangers of outside influences of globalisation and westernisation. One important export is the Hydro-Electric trade to India. Bhutan remains strongly as a singular identifiable nation. To be in Bhutan and Bhutanese there is a strict definition.