Powerful Portraits of Miss Tibet Pema Choedon

Two of my photos, both portraits of Pema Lotus Choedon, Miss Tibet 2015 are published on Scroll as part of a photo documentary, ‘The sights and sounds of Delhi’s Mini Tibet

The Miss Tibet beauty pageant held in Dharmshala is one of the many ways Tibetan refugees in India claim their identity as a nation, the sovereignty of which is denied to them by China. Pema is a second generation refugee born and brought up in India, but in her heart she remains a Tibetan refugee displaced from her homeland. This is true for most 2nd generation Tibetans who hold on to their cultural and national identities and carry on their struggle for a Free Tibet.


Juxtaposed with Delhi’s urban infrastructure, Pema here represents 2nd generation young Tibetans growing up in this capital city and their aspirations and life goals. Though a personal favorite of both me and the author Vishal Arora while sifting the photos for publication, this portrait didn’t appear in the final story on editor’s discretion. Perhaps because in the other portraits Pema fits the idea of a Tibetan refugee better with her religiosity or Free Tibet sentiments. Here she appears as a strong woman, an image different from the public perception of ‘refugee’ girl.

Majnu ka Tilla Photo Expedition Low res-17

Majnu ka Tilla Photo Expedition Low res-25

Majnu ka Tilla Photo Expedition Low res-15

More photos the Majnu Ka Tila documentary is here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s