Friday, 4 September 2009

Shiho Fukada: Tawang

Photo © Shiho Fukada/NYTimes-All Rights Reserved

One of my favorite photographers is Shiho Fukada, and a fresh slideshow of her photographs is featured in the New York Times.

A Contested Frontier In The Clouds is the rather awkward title chosen for the slideshow, but Shiho's photographs, despite the dry reportage they illustrate, has flashes of her usual creativity.

Tawang is a town in India's Arunachal Pradesh, and rises above 10,000 feet in this region of eastern Himalayas. It is home to one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred monasteries, which is of the Gelugpa sect. The area is thickly forested with white stupas and steep, terraced hillsides that is home to the Monpa people, who practice Tibetan Buddhism, speak a language similar to Tibetan and once paid tribute to rulers in Lhasa.

The article accompanying the photo slideshow deals with the conflict over the Tawang area between India and China, which go back to the latter's territorial claims to Tibet. According to China, this section of northeast India has historically been part of Tibet, and should be part of China.