Tsering Woeser’s Award for Courage in Journalism

by Michelle

Tsering Woeser, the Tibetan born poet, writer and journalist is a recipient of a 2010 Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation. The award recognises the courage of women journalists who risk political persecution and death for the cause of human rights. Other recipients are Claudia Duque of Colombia and and Vicky Ntetema of Tanzania.

Woeser was born in Lhasa, her father a high rank officer in the People’s Liberation Army. She studied in Chengdu, PRC where she graduated in Chinese Literature, having never learned to read or write in Tibetan. In 2003 her book Notes on Tibet, a series of stories and essays was quickly suppressed by Chinese authorities. Her writings and cyberjournalism have been banned and she remains under surveillance in Beijing, from where she blogs openly about sensitive Tibetan issues. In 2007 she was awarded the Norwegian Authors’ Fredom Of Expression Prize but was banned from visiting Oslo to accept this award.

On the recent earthquake in Kham, Woeser wrote this for Radio Free Asia, and posted it on her blog, Invisible Tibet:

“The extermination that happens at the moment of an earthquake can by no means engulf everything. Many things that have long been concealed in the dark, many things that are currently being concealed in the dark are gradually coming to the surface. No, one should rather say they are wrestling themselves out of the ruins because in Kyegudo, on the originally beautiful soil of the vast snow land we now find nothing but ruins. From the ruins that buried thousands upon thousands of lives, dust rises up and blots out the sky and the sun, and upon dispersion it lets the world witness the most brutal reality. ”

April 26 2010
Translated by High Peaks Pure Earth