Life On The Margins
Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, China
High on a plateau, Tibetan Buddhism has found unlikely new centres of gravity under China’s wary glance.
Yarchen and Larung Gar are two massive religious encampments occupying remote and highly precarious positions on the western frontier of the Chinese state. Against all odds these vital centres of Tibetan Buddhism are thriving.
Melbourne photographer Brook Mitchell, journeyed into the region to document life in the camps. Monks and nuns in both settlements face incredibly harsh living conditions in their pursuit of spiritual perfection. Sanitation is almost nonexistent, food supplies are scarce and winter temperatures drop to life threatening levels. Moreover, the Chinese government has cast a long shadow over both settlements during their relatively short existence (Yarchen Gar Est. 1985, Larung Gar Est. 1980).