Self-immolation as protest in Tibet

Palden Choetso, self-immolated on 3 November 2011

Special issue of the journal Cultural Anthropology on the self-immolations in Tibet, co-edited by Carole McGranahan and Ralph Litzinger, published on 9 April 2012, http://www.culanth.org/?q=node%2F526

Tibet has no history of self-immolation as sacrifice, religious offering, or political protest. Yet, in the last year alone, roughly thirty-five Tibetans have set themselves on fire. The overwhelming majority of self-immolators are inside Tibet, in the People’s Republic of China, and almost exclusively in northwestern Sichuan and southeastern Qinghai provinces (corresponding to the Tibetan regions of northern Kham and southern Amdo). In this special issue of Cultural Anthropology, we collectively ask why. Why are so many Tibetans resorting to the singular act of setting the body on fire? What combination of cultural, historical, political, and/or religious reasons inspire these acts?

Read more: http://www.culanth.org/?q=node%2F526

[23 May 2012: see also here for a related event.]

 


Nicolas Sihlé

Nicolas Sihlé, a sociocultural anthropologist, is researcher at the Center for Himalayan Studies, a research unit of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) based in Villejuif (France). He specializes on Tibetan religion and society, and is the author of Rituels bouddhiques de pouvoir et de violence : La figure du tantriste tibétain [Buddhist rituals of power and violence : The figure of the Tibetan tantrist] (Brepols, 2013). His current work focuses on post-Mao socioreligious transitions in and around the famous communities of non-monastic specialists of tantric Buddhism in northeast Tibet (Amdo), and more generally on the comparative anthropology of Buddhism.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *