In the months prior to His Holiness’ visit, a wide variety of programs were organized both on campus and in Santa Barbara to celebrate Tibetan culture. The University Libraries selected His Holiness’ Ethics for a New Millenium as its choice for the annual UCSB Reads program. Two thousand copies of the book were made available at no cost to students, staff and faculty. Forums on the book were also held throughout Santa Barbara. In addition to the ongoing courses on Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language offered in the Religious Studies Department, other classes on Tibetan-Himalayan anthropology and Tibetan medicine were taught in the Department of East Asian Languaes and Cultural Studies. In early spring, the prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Ven. Samdhong Rinpoche, gave a lecture on The Future of Tibet. A few weeks later, Pico Iyer and Professor Robert Thurman engaged in a public conversation on “Why the Dalai Lama Matters” at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Over several weeks, members of the UC Santa Barbara faculty lectured on Tibetan culture and religion in the local community. The University Art Museum organized an extraordinary exhibition, Toward Enlightenment: The Sacred Art of Tibet, showcasing exquisite tangka paintings on loan from the Rubin Museum of Art in New York. In the the weeks prior to His Holiness’ visit, a renowned monk-artist from Gyumey Tantric College taught a month-long workshop on Tibetan painting for undergraduates; and in the days before His Holiness’ arrival, monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery created a beautiful Avalokiteshvara sand-mandala in honor of the Dalai Lama. In the words of Dean David Marhsall, “this remarkable program of events, culminating in the Dalai Lama’s lectures, were, for our students and the wider community, an example of our public university at its very best.”
Kundun April 24, 2009. Magic Lantern Films in Isla Vista
A special screening of Martin Scorcese’s Kundun, an epic film about the life of the Dalai Lama up to the time of his exile, will be presented by Magic Lantern Films in Isla Vista, next to the UCSB campus, on Friday, April 17. Please check the Magic Lantern website for exact time and location: http://www.magiclanternfilms.org/.
Fire Under the Snow May 28, 2009. UCSB Campbell Hall
A documentary about the Tibetan Buddhist monk Palden Gyatso, who was imprisoned and tortured for 33 years by the Chinese government for the “crimes” of peaceful protest and refusal to denounce his teacher. The film also explores Palden’s Buddhist faith, which he says is the basis of his resilience. “Fire Under the Snow” is an inspirational story of survival under unthinkable duress.
Closing night film of the 4th Annual Santa Barbara Human Rights Film Festival
Thursday, May 28 / UCSB Campbell Hall / 9 pm
Admission: $10 general public / $8 UCSB students
For tickets and more information contact UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805-893-3535.
The 4th Annual Santa Barbara Human Rights Film Festival is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures with assistance from Human Rights Watch Santa Barbara Committee.