Curse of Geography: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Curse of Geography (4/10)

Curse of Geography: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

In the wake of the 2010 Yushu earthquake, celebrated Indonesian artist, Arahmaiani, spent ten years working with Buddhist monks on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau to cultivate sustainable rebuilding projects and amplify the voices of women in Tibetan civil discourse.

Curse of Geography is an on-going series of investigative reports focused on the relationship of geographic isolation or proximity on social justice, human rights and public policy in selected locations around the world. Our reports are produced in multi-media format and in partnership with artists, journalists, NGOs, academic and cultural institutions, and news outlets.

In this fourth installment of The Curse of Geography, Sidd Joag and Xu Shuang report from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, sometimes referred to as “the Rooftoop of the World.”  Joag writes: “It is the highest plateau on earth, formed by the collision of the Indian and Eurasian Plates, and it continues to rise by approximately one inch every five years due to the unremitting movement of the plates. At three miles above sea level, and surrounded by the Himalayan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Qilian mountain ranges, it is some of the most rugged and inhospitable terrain on earth…” Joag highlights the evolving relationship and dynamic between art, development, environmentalism, and social change in the region.

The full text of the article from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau can be viewed on the Curse of Geography website, along with previous reportage from La Mosquitia, Honduras; Western Newfoundland, Canada; and Badakhshan, Tajikistan.

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Sidd Joag is a visual artist, journalist, producer, and the managing editor at ArtsEverywhere.


Suzy Xu Shuang (徐爽) is a visual storyteller of ancient and contemporary cultural traditions. She explores portraiture and landscape photography in poetic ways. Xu is a 2019-2020 ArtsEverywhere Artist-in-Residence.

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