The missing “optics of urgency”

Why it’s so hard to keep the world focused on Tibet
In 2011, Beijing further tightened its chokehold on the autonomous region under the leadership of new Tibet Communist Party secretary Chen Quanguo (paywall), who implemented a vast array of security measures, including the incarceration and “re-education” of those who had returned from listening to the Dalai Lama’s teachings in India. […]

“To some extent, China has been very successful in dealing with Tibet,” said Tsering Shakya, an academic at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. […]

Draconian restrictions on travel by Tibetans, foreign diplomats and journalists has made getting disseminating information from the region immensely more difficult.

Ever-tightening security has eliminated visible, large-scale displays of protest. The “optics of urgency” spotlighting the Xinjiang situation, such as satellite photos of camps and reporting by journalists on the ground, are missing from the Tibet narrative, wrote Gerald Roche, an anthropologist at La Trobe University in Melbourne. The “slow violence” that characterizes the plight of Tibet today, Roche added, makes it harder to get global attention.

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art and design, data, education and technology.

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