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Nine questions for the Dalai Lama Fraser, Patricia

Abstract

Nine Questions for the Dalai Lama is a DVD Rom that incorporates digital video documentary, video poetry, and written essays that call into question the theoretical framing that informed the practices and decisions that underscored The Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education's "Nurturing Compassion Vancouver Dialogues 2006." Although this event was conceived as a youth centred dialogue with the Dalai Lama, it was characterized by the educative practices of 'manageralism' (Fielding 2004) and revealed a 'risk consciousness' (Ericson & Haggerty 1997) at play in the managing of these dialogues. While appearing to collaborate with youth, these practices created a dominant cultural narrative that culminated in the censoring of a youth based documentary produced specifically for this event. The questions that appear as menu choices emerged from the author's involvement as the mentor/producer of the youth documentary team. What is real food and real water? Questions meanings of compassion. What were they doing? uses the theoretical underpinnings of the politics of communication to examine the event. What are we afraid of? is an essay that examines the troubling issue of the censorship of a video documentary that identifies the Dalai Lama as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet. This essay views this event through a lens informed from the writings of Arendt (1979) and Brueggeman (2001). Other menu choices on the dvd question through the medium of digital video the exploration of imaginative spaces as ways of knowing. Who are you and what happens next? Uses a video archive to look at the exclusion of the youth and includes the censored video. How to hold a hand? and Are you trying to tell me something? represent some of the other ways this experience of the event was realized and understood. Why listen to a dream? questions the ways we know through imaginative realization and awareness. This essay questions how the use of the imagination and awareness relates to the dominant narrative that characterized this event and to transformative educational practices.

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